How to Grow Grapes, Complete Growing Guide

what's going on growers it's james

piggioni coming to you live from jersey

one of my all-time favorite fruits to

eat fresh from the garden

are grapes there's nothing like going

out grabbing a fresh ripe grape

right from the vine so today i want to

show you how to grow your own grapes so

you can be in fresh ones too

let's go

when it comes to growing grapes there

are four main types american

european hybrids of the two and also

muscadine grapes

right here is a concord grape this is an

american grape

i planted this in the spring of 2013 and

it started to produce fruit only three

years after i planted it

american grapes are native to north

america they have slip skins

and they're typically good for fresh

eating juicing and you can even make

wines with them they call them slip

skins because how easily the meat slips

right out of the skin

so the american grape is ideal for my

particular situation for a number of

reasons that i'll get into now

first of all american grapes are more

cold hardy than european grapes

they're easier to get an overall harvest

from and they're less susceptible to


i also live in north america and these

are native to north america so the north

american grapes just make sense

european grapes are the ones that are

going to produce most of your table in

wine grapes throughout the world

and your raisins too like i mentioned

though they're a little more susceptible

to disease

a little harder to grow but there are

hybrid grapes

which are the combination of the two of

them and they are

less susceptible to the diseases and

actually more cold hardy than just your

regular european grapes if you live in a

really hot climate like

south florida then you may only be able

to grow muscadine grapes

because grapes need a certain amount of

chill hours which are essentially

temperatures below about 45 degrees

and muscadine grapes need the least

amount of chill hours because

they're native to southeast of the u.s

so because of that they're better

adapted to those warm humid climates and

they'll thrive in the summer heat what

i'm getting at here

is when you decide to order grapes you

want to make sure when you go on a

website or wherever you get them from

you're not just picking the grape that

looks the coolest you think

you want to pick types and varieties

that are compatible with your particular


this is what will make growing them and

getting good harvests from them

so much easier this is a niagara grape

another american one

again native to my region so it makes it

a lot easier to get fruit from

these are native to new york niagara new

york i'm in new jersey

so local so close and the flavor on

these things out of control good

they're so sweet you can see the bees

and everything are flying around

trying to get a little taste tuck can't

eat the grapes because they're actually

really bad for dogs

but he always looks out and finds his

own cucumbers this way when we're

snacking on grapes he has something to

snack on too

so the next round of cucumbers are doing

real well and he's enjoying him probably

the most out of anybody

so we'll let him finish up on this

cucumber hang out and just enjoy himself

while we finish up some of this grape


like i just mentioned it's not only the

type but the variety of grape which

makes a big difference when growing them

for instance i live in new jersey we

have a super humid climate

and a big issue with growing grapes is

black rot so

this is a fungal issue and the way i

deal with this is i grow the concord


so that concord grape that i showed you

earlier is a disease resistant grape to

that black rot once the grapes get to

a very small size so just a couple weeks

after bloom

those grapes are disease resistant to

the blackrock on the other hand

a lot of your european grapes are way

more susceptible to that black rot and

even later into the season so it makes

it much harder to get those

so if you're just starting off make sure

you pick up some great vines that are

disease resistant and very easy to grow

ones like the concord i showed you

showed you and also the candidates grape

i have growing too

here's another variety ripe two this is

the thompson seedless

so these ones are not perfectly ripe but

they're right on the edge i believe

and still a great flavor i believe these

are the seedless ones

great flavor those ones are actually

seeded and

if you're growing seedless varieties

like the candidates i grew you might

notice that

they're not as big as some of the ones

you see in the commerce and the stores

and stuff

because commercial growers a lot of time

will add a uh

a growth hormone to those grapes to make

sure that they uh

produce more uniformly and large so if

your grapes are a little smaller when

they seedless

don't get too upset about it it's

probably just because of that now that

we have a good idea of what kind of

grapes we're going to be growing

and the varieties we can start picking a

location and prepping that spot

so grapes like growing in full sun and

you really have to have

a trellis or fence for something for

them to grow up and what we want to do

is start prepping this ground now

for grapes that we're going to be

planting essentially next spring

so grapes like soil with a ph of about

five to six

and they like a lot of organic matter in

the soil if you want to plant grapes i

suggest that you order

one-year-old dormant bare root grapes

from a reputable company

someone like rain tree nursery then you

want to take those grapes put them in in

the early spring before the buds start

to swell

before you even plant those grapes

though and after you get them out of the

package or the box wherever you get them


make sure you soak the roots of the

grape in water for about an hour or so

because they had all that time shipping

probably a few days

the roots could have dried out so we

want to make sure we're saturating those


really efficiently before we start to

plant them i love grapes not just

because the flavor is amazing when you

eat them fresh and you can do so many

different things with them

but also because when it comes to

perennials they produce pretty quickly

these grapes i have planted here i only

planted these in april 2018

so this is only the third growing season

and they're producing a good amount of


as i move down the fence line too i'll

show you other varieties are doing real

well too

look at the fruit set on that so one

thing i love about growing all different

perennials is

you can just get good harvest earlier

than most people think so

you can plant strawberries and get a

harvest after one year raspberries after

one or two years and then grapes after


while you're waiting for things like

your fruit trees would take about four

years or five years to produce

and then you can actually be getting a

lot of food while you're just waiting in

the interim that's the same thing i do

with my annuals too after you've chosen

your grapes and you have them planted

the next most important thing when it

comes to getting good harvest is proper

pruning techniques

and a lot of people can get overwhelmed

when it comes to pruning grapes but

don't worry even if you make a mistake

that's okay grapes are very forgiving

when it comes to pruning

so the thing is when it comes to grapes

there's basically two main ways of doing


you have spur pruning and cane pruning

the thing that's

reassuring and nice though is you don't

really have to worry about what pruning

technique you're going to use until the

second winter that's when you're really

going to have to prune the grapes to the

proper technique

and the way you prune them whether it's

cane or spur pruning

is really going to depend on the variety

of the grape and the type that'll guide


the first year though when you first

plant them when you first get them in

the ground

in the early spring you're going to do

something that seems a little

counterproductive and

a bit crazy what you want to do is get

those in the ground and then once the

buds start to swell

you want to cut everything off the

grapevine except for two

live buds i'll give you a clip of when i

did that when i first planted this

grapevine right here

again that might seem counterproductive

but what you want to do when grapes are

young is really focus on

root production that's so vitally

important if you focus a lot of the


year or second year even on reproduction

then you're going to have big

healthy vines that produce a lot of

fruit for you when it comes to growing


not only is dormant pruning important

but also spring and summer pruning

you don't want your grapes shading

themselves out too much because that's

going to just open them up to more

issues with fungal diseases and stuff

so i'm not going to go into the real

specifics of pruning grapes because

that's a video i'm going to make

separate in the winter where i'll give

you good detail and be able to just go

out there and show you just how i prune


what we're going to do is harvest some

of these grapes because they're ready to

eat and there's nothing like getting

fresh grapes so let's get some of these

right here these are the niagara grapes

let me cut a nice cluster

you want to make sure you're cutting

these clusters off and ideally the best

time to do it is in the morning

so let's cut this cluster

anyone could be doing this you'll notice

that some of those black things that's

from the black rot

so there's a little bit of blacker on

here but that's okay and one of the

reasons is because i didn't plant these

in the best location

you'll notice i'm growing them uh you

know in a weird trellis way that not

everyone should be growing grapes the


ideal way to do it would be a south

facing fence

so when you're if you're going to grow

grapes like i did just because i wanted

to be able to have them above my head

just that style of reaching up and

grabbing them make sure you get those

disease resistant ones

like the concord grape get some more

clusters right here

so we'll have a lot of a lot of grapes

here we can make

juices with these because niagara is

great for white grape juice and we can

also make wines and do whatever

give a lot of them away but again you

wouldn't believe how amazing they taste


the sweetness to them it's it's hard to

describe and you can even tell by the


so i'll walk into the food forest once i

get to about the raised bed i can smell

the concord grapes

such a strong smell all the bees are

around it because they're so sweet and

so good

that's one of the ways to tell when

they're ready to harvest too the

sweetness will tell you

the reason i mentioned that sweetness

will really tell you when the grapes are


is because when it comes to the concord

grape and some of the other grapes

they'll change color before they're

perfectly ripe it's also good to know

what season they're going to basically

be ripe into

so i know that anywhere from late august

to early september is when these grapes

are going to be ripe

so we'll cut this cluster right here and

this one right here

and then we'll move up and grab some

more clusters some of them are bitten a

little bit

but what i did this year which made a

huge difference was i covered them with

this insect netting

once they started to get close to being

ripe tucked just like smelling in here

he wouldn't eat him or anything because

he knows we like to make sure that he


really have a chance of getting around

him but he's a good guy so this insect

netting right here

made a huge difference when it came to

protecting my grapes not only from some

of the bugs

and the bees but also the birds and

everything so i'll put a link in the

description but this is something that

i'm always going to be doing in the


let me grab some more of these grapes as

we move up

and again this is another location that

you really shouldn't plant grapes

in the middle of a food forest the

reason i have them planted here

is because when i first planted this

garden i didn't realize i was going to

expand this much

but i'm happy that i did plant a

disease-resistant variety that's why i

can still get good fruit in the middle

of a food forest

we'll get a couple more clusters here

and then i'll grab some more of the

clusters that are

in the middle there let's cut this guy


you'll notice not every grape is

perfectly uniform and ripe something

that probably has to do with the fact

that it's in the middle

of a food forest but the flavor is still

out of bounds good

so so so delicious let's grab a few more


you'll notice we're going to have a real

nice harvest between these ones

the niagara grapes the thompson grapes

and the concord grapes

and we already had some candidates

grapes that we were eating earlier in

the season

we'll let those ones stay on and ripen a

little bit more and let's go grab

some more clusters from some other

places like those thompson sea like

those thompson seeded grapes

man those look good let's grab some of

these thompson seeded grapes right here

and these ones have like grown in

between the fence so it might be a


a little bit of a tricky thing to

harvest them but we'll do our best

and i attribute uh the ability to get a

lot of these grapes

to a couple things variety selection

and also proper pruning techniques

that's why those are the main thing i

focused on

i wanted to spend some time in the

beginning on that variety and type

selection because really

i think that's where everything makes a

huge difference you really have to have

the right types and great varieties when

you start

let's get that nice set in there and

we'll grab another nice set here

looks like we're going to be making some

juices and some jams in the past i made

some jams with the concord grapes and

that was easily the best jelly that i've

ever made and i've had people asking me

about it

making it again so maybe we'll have to

make it this year let me grab this one

from the other side

kind of pass my hand over

it's a good feeling getting this stuff

right from the backyard

nothing like it that's today's video

growers thanks for watching i hope you

enjoyed it i hope you got

something out of it i hope all of you

take the chance to plant some of your

own grapes in your own backyard

and if they don't work out perfectly for

you don't get discouraged that's one

reason we like to plant so many

different things in the food forest

there's always

something that does good one year and

when you get that when you get the good


it's like nothing else eating them fresh

sharing with your friends it's a great


that's why i love making these videos

because i want you to have the

opportunity to be able to eat these

fresh grapes

sharing with your friends and just get

all the benefits that come from it if

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talking james we back to you again real

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