Growing grapes at home is pretty much the same as if they were cultivated in a big commercial  vineyard. Home vineyard will just be small. There are several aspects to grow healthy vines to be addressed by both major vineyards and grower working at home.

The most accountable aspect of all is the characteristics of the grape variety. And it is tied to to soil quality, water availability, sunlight, pruning, & pest control. For a lot of home growers,it is pruning and pest control that are the most boring tasks.

Simply put, pruning is cutting some branches of the plants to help the vine grow. The right way to pruned the grapevine depends on the selection of vines that are used. Vines must be pruned to take off the previous year fruiting cane or spores.

Grapes are only produced on shoots growing from 1 year old vines. For that reason, healthy new canes will be produced by the vine each year. Bear in mind that this is overdone, more and more foliage on a vine will make a shady canopy, and this creates a detrimental conditions for the grape to mature. Home grape producers have to be careful when pruning to avoid unnecessary damage to the plant. When removing old shoots, a hand pruner can be used effectively. A saw or a lopper are used to cut large wood on the vine.

The home grape growers spend much of their time managing pests such as birds, insects, and believe it or not: Deer. There are a lot of insects like grape berry moth, grape leaf hopper, Japanese beetle and rose chafer that would love to feed on a delicious vine. Insecticide can be employed to control insects proliferation, but usually grapevines can tolerate a small amount of insect damage. It’s only necessary to control insects, where a large proportion of leaf area or the fruit itself is at risk.

Birds can be a lot more devastating. A big flock of birds can destroy a crop in no time, but all is not lost, a large flock of birds is easy to scare away than some birds alone. Home winemakers can eliminate birds damage by building a physical barrier such as a net, over all of the vines. But it must be remove for the winter because ice could form on it and broke the vines.

Winemakers at home can also use visual scary tools such as aluminum pie plates, fake hawks, owls, or snakes.¬† And deer will come in early spring looking for easy food. Odor repellent is something that’s very effective in controlling the deer. Home grape growers may also use the scent of a man, dog hair, soap or deter unwanted birds. Moreover, smell of the Coyotes also be used because coyotes are natural predators of deer.

Filed under: Grape Growing How to

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