Grapes - Knowledgebase Question

Roswell, Ne
Avatar for duranacres
Question by duranacres
July 1, 2010
I live in zone 7 and every year I attempt to grow grapes, but they die. Could it be from over watering. They do get 6 hrs of sunlight. HELP?

Answer from NGA
July 1, 2010
If you planted the wrong types of grapes for your growing region, the plants would still grow vigorously, they just wouldn't develop grapes - or ripen them. So I don't think the problem is with the grape variety but with the soil or with your watering practices. Young grapevines can burn out if the summer weather is really hot. In this case you might try planting in an area that receives morning sun but shade from hot afternoon sunshine. You'll get fewer grapes but the vines should thrive. Before planting again, amend the soil with copious amounts of compost or other organic matter to help it drain well. This winter or early spring purchase bareroot grape plants (sold in packages with moss or potting soil around the roots) and plant them while they are still dormant. For each vine, dig a hole 12 inches deep and 12 inches wide to accommodate the roots. Shovel in a 4-inch layer of topsoil. Then prune the top of your grapevine back to two or three buds and trim off any broken roots or roots too long to fit into the hole without crowding. Set the vine into the hole, slightly deeper than it was grown in the nursery, and spread its roots. Cover the roots with 6 inches of topsoil, keeping the buds above the soil line. Tamp down the soil, then fill the remainder of the hole with topsoil but don't tamp it down. Water the new plants well. Although grapevines are known to be drought tolerant, they need plenty of water right after planting so roots can get established. Water deeply through the root zone (about 12 inches deep) with each irrigation. To determine how far water has penetrated, poke a soil probe (any long metal rod) into the soil. It will move easily through moist soil, stopping abruptly where soil is dry. How often to water depends on many factors, such as soil type and weather. Stick your finger in the soil. If it?s dry at 1 to 2 inches, apply water deeply. Hope this information helps you grow fantastic grapes!

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