growing grapes - Knowledgebase Question

Roswell, Ne
Question by duranacres
June 30, 2010
I live in zone 7, and every year I attempt to grow grapes and every year they do very poorly and die. How often should I water them, and best soil types. They do get at least 6 hrs of direct sunlight

Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010


Grapes don't require superior soil, but loose soil with good drainage is a must. 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.

For more details on soil for growing grapes, check out this link to a University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension publication: Good luck!

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