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The grapes most widely cultivated in the Northeast are derived primarily from Vitis labrusca and are referred to as American bunch grapes. Another grape species, Vitis vinifera, is native to southern Europe and recognized throughout the world for its wine quality. Unfortunately, the European grapes are extremely sensitive to cold temperatures common in the Northeast. Many American cultivars offered have been derived from crosses between these two species. These French-American hybrids produce good wines, and are also good table grapes, yet are much hardier than their V. vinifera parent.
Grapes are a delightful addition to any garden. When cultivated properly, they can provide quality eating and drinking. Grapes are best planted in a full sun location sheltered from winter winds (preferably a southern facing slope) and well removed from frost pockets.
Grapes are not particular about soil and do especially well in clay and loam soils that have been improved with organic matter. They will grow best in well-drained soil with a pH of 5.5 to 7.5. Plant the grapes once the soil is workable in spring by digging a hole approximately 1-1/2 times the diameter of the root system. Set the rootstock into the soil, spreading the roots out in a circular fashion. Firmly tamp soil around the base of the trunk. Space plants approximately 8’apart. Trim the vine back to 3-4 buds. No fertilizer is required at planting. Keep the vines watered well during the summer and keep weeds under control. It is best to tie up canes as they grow and keep them off the ground. This will help reduce disease and improve vine training. Grapes need a support system, training, regular spraying and pruning to maximize fruit production.
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT BARE ROOT PLANTS
You may be a little startled when you first encounter a ‘bare root’ plant. This is simply a plant that has had the soil washed from its roots to facilitate shipping, and to help prevent the transfer of soil-borne pathogens and pests. Our bare root plants are shipped to you in a dormant state, just prior to your planting season. Unpack your plants and submerge the roots into a bucket of water for 1 hour so the roots will begin to absorb moisture. Be sure to plant them within 48 hours, before the plants break their dormancy.
SHIPPING INFO: Live products have fixed ship dates based on your location. Garden Galleries products will ship to you directly from our supplier via UPS in early spring unless you specify a later ship week in the Order Notes field at checkout. Shipments continue through late spring until product is sold out. Please see individual product pages for more information and any state restrictions.
Bare Root Fruit & Vegetable Growing Guide