Saturday, January 12, 2008

How To Grow Grapes: A Special Offer

“Now You Can Grow Grapes Using Simple, Understandable Techniques That Have Been PROVEN To Get RESULTS, And How You Can Put These Secrets To Work For YOU No Matter Where You Live!
Dear Grape Growing Enthusiast,

Have you ever wondered about the following?

* How do I prepare my soil before planting a grape vine?
* How do I fertilize and irrigate my grape vine?
* How should I train my newly planted grape vine?
* What's the best way to prune my grape vine?
* How should I prepare my grape vine for optimum grape production?
* What's the best way to decide when the grapes are ready for harvest?
* What to do after you have enjoyed the fruit of your labor?

Grapes are grown in South Africa and if you want to meet a real grape growing expert, I'll introduce you to him.

His name is Danie Wium. He owns an export grape export farm in South Africa, and has 10 years of grape growing experience.

Recently, Danie decided to release information about how to grow grapes that look like these. The pictures here are actually grapes grown from his own Vine Yard.
These grape vines produce 42 pounds of grapes on every single grape vine, every year!
No matter where you are or what you are going to use your grape vine for, the most important thing to remember is:

Your grape vine needs to be a well trained, well pruned and disease free plant. Danie has decided to show you some of his trade secrets most people won't tell you.

  • How he construct his simple, but very effective trellis systems
  • How he plants grape vines,
  • How he train a young grape vine to reach the trellis wire withing a few weeks
  • How he remove lateral shoots and suckers
  • How he knows what grapes to use and how much to leave on your grape vine
  • How to thin out bunches - by hand and by using gibberlin
  • How to water your grape vine and how often he waters his vines
  • How to fertilize your grape vine and what fertilizer he uses on his grapes
  • How to keep your grape vine healthy, with a VERY effective spray program
  • How to know when to remove leaves
  • How to manage the canopy of your grape vine
  • How to secure the shoots on the trellis wires
  • How to increase berry size
  • How to prevent berry fall
  • How to increase the number of bunches your grape vine produce - fruitfulness
  • How to make sure you have enough pruning wood of good quality for the following season
  • How to prune grapes - cane and spur pruning
  • How to protect your grape vine from the cold
  • How to make cuttings
  • And much, much more ...

You'll agree that its better to learn a skill from someone who has been there and done it. Who better to learn from then a person who owns his own Grape Export Farm.

Also for a very limited time, you'll discover how the very same steps he took to produce grape vines that generate 7 000 + cartons of grapes per hectare EACH AND EVERY YEAR!

That is more that 32 000 kilograms (70 547 pounds) of export quality grapes per hectare each year!
To ensure that you're completely satisfied with the product, Danie will be providing you an 8 week, 100% money back guarantee if you find this product not useful.

Order is made through a secure online server.
Imagine harvesting these grape crops during the next harvest. Don't do things the hard way, do it the grape gardener way!


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Why we need to build a grape trellis

Nice article by Danie, aka "The Grape Guy"

How important is the construction of a trellis or arbor really? Many home grape growers use their grape vines not only to produce grapes, but to ad that something special to their garden and that is understandable, because often grapes are referred to as “the fruit of the gods”.

When the novice home grape grower first plant a grape vine, they passionately dig a hole in the first best place they can find; water the grape vine and soon see some life as new shoots develop from the tiny buds on the canes. The fact that a grape vine is VERY adaptable and not difficult to start, makes growing grapes even more fun.

Soon, the new shoots will be a foot long, and this is even more satisfying, thinking that you have successfully started a grape vine, but then the uncertainty crawls in. What now? What should I do with the new growth? Why isn’t there grapes on my grape vine? I’ve heard about “training” a grape vine, but what on earth does “training” mean?

These are common questions a new grape grower face, and it is understandable, because there is much more to growing grapes than just planting the them!

One article is excessively short to explain the whole process of growing grapes; in fact, 50 or even a 100 articles would not be enough! Therefore, I will try to shed some light on the most common mistake of all - the trellis or arbor.

After a month or so, the newly planted grape vine grows out of control and starts looking more like a shrub than a grape vine. Because of poor airflow and sunlight exposure and the fact that the new shoots is lying on the ground, even more uncertainty crawls in, as diseases starts to take over the grape vine.

Discouraged, the new grape grower tries to save the vine by pruning away shoots and then, thinking that they have successfully managed to keep the vine in shape, they will soon find out that the “new” grape vine now grows even more vigorously. The grape vine will grow even more out of control, as side shoots (laterals) develop because of the tip action that took place.

Even more frustrated, the grape grower starts to do research, desperately seeking for a solution to his/her problem. They do research in magazines, visit some vineyards and even try the Internet (as you did) seeking for answers. They find tons and tons of information on how to grow grapes, and after weeks and weeks of sifting out all the crappy information there is out there, they finally realize that they must have some kind of trellis or arbor to grow their grapes on.

Luckily, they found the answer, but there is another problem! By this time, it is almost the end of the growing season and constructing the trellis or arbor then, will do little or no good! You see, the real disadvantage of constructing the support too late, is the fact that you will have to prune the grape vine back to two or three buds and start all over again, loosing a whole year’s growth!

The real solution to the problem is constructing the trellis or arbor beforehand, before you even plant the grape vine. You should construct the support system during winter, so when the growing season starts in spring and the grape vine starts developing shoots, the support is already in place. This will ensure that you can train and evenly spread your grape vine’s shoots on the trellis or arbor wires and minimize the time it takes for your grape vine to produce grapes!


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thinning out of bunches- Grape Radio

For more information about growing grapes,


Friday, March 30, 2007

Wine grape scouting

Monday, February 19, 2007

Grow a Grape Vine

The key is to spend some time on soil preparation before planting. The soil should be dug as far down as you can get incorporation lots of well rotted farm yard manure, its important that it should be well rotted because fresh manure will burn the vines roots. Another good source of organic matter is lead compost created from oak, ash and lime trees; beech leaves are best avoided, as they tend to be a little too acid for vines. Natural and well before the Romans took an interest in vines they grow naturally in woods and forests. Climbing trees in search of sunlight to ripen the fruit they produce, this is why the requirement for lots of organic matter in the soil to recreate the leaf litter found naturally on a forest floor is key to growing grapes successfully.

Most vines are supplied in pots. The same planting rules apply to vines as well as other pot grown plant, but with vines it is important that you -

1. Make sure the root ball is not to root bound or has been grown in a small pot for to long so that the roots have started to spiral in the base of the pot.
2. The planting depth should be just below the original compost surface in the pot so the root ball is just covered with soil.

Ideally the vine should be planted so that the roots are always kept cool and the head should be grown into the sun or towards a sunny spot on a wall or trellis etc. To keep the roots cool you can place large stones or rocks around the base to help shield the soil from direct sunlight.

In the first two years you should concentrate on forming a framework within the vine plant. This involves training the side branches and tying them to wires or trellis supports. The key points in this operation are not to tie the vine too firmly as the branches will expand over the next two years and the ties might constrain the branch to much and cause some damage. Secondary by training the side branched horizontally this will help encourage fruit production later. During the first two-year we recommend feeding with a liquid feed one a month through the summer to help create the frame work that will later support the grapes.

The vine will produce fruit in the first two years; this fruit is best left on the vine but thinned by removing 2/3rds of the grapes that have formed within each bunch.

Finally in the third year you can plan to produce some usable fruits. At the start of the year mulch with some well rotted farmyard manure around the base. You should no longer be feeding with liquid feed during the summer. The grapes will form again on the fruiting spurs and should be thinned in each bunch this time by one 1/3. They will develop over the summer then in late July you should remove some of the vines foliage around the grapes to allow the more sunlight to ripen the bunches.

At the end of the year you should tie in the new shoots cutting then back by 25% to encourage the formation of new fruiting spurs the following year. Finally tar washing with jeyes fluid in the winter has the advantage of killing all the pests that are over wintering in the stems and buds. This is carried out by mixing 1 part jeyes fluid to 30 parts water and spraying it on to the vine until it runs off soaking the stems and branches



How To Grow Grapes

You're not going to get a really picture perfect picture of grapes unless you have a lot of vines because the "garden monsters" are going to ruin them in some way plus they're typically hidden behind leaves or support. But I cut off a fairly good bunch and hung it by a clothes pin from a dwarf apple tree :-)

You have to consider a couple of factors when choosing which variety of grapes to grow. Grapes for the northern US are self-pollinating but some Muscadine grapes (southern US) require planting a pollinizer. Most are subject to various fungus diseases although some are more resistant than others and some are altogether immune.

In Chicago there are many yellow jacket wasps in the fall and they love grapes so it is advisable to get a variety that ripens early before the wasp population explodes. To trap wasps I've tried something called The Yellow Jacket Trap by SureFire products. Their bait did not attract wasps away from the grapes however if you take a grape and force it through each of the four holes the juice on the entry holes will attract wasps inside, once inside they pretty much can't get out and they die if left there long enough. If you like to chase wasps around with a sprayer then put some dishwashing liquid in water and spray the wasps, if you get enough on them they will die in a few minutes.

To protect the grapes against birds of course you can use a large piece of netting but birds may find a way inside and even get caught in the netting. An alternative is to save the netted grapefruit/onion/potato bags from the grocery store and use a twist-tie to hold them on over the bunch of grapes. Birds (I guess) managed to get through the bags and pull them off the bunch, I suppose they got a few through the netting but most of them landed at the bottom of the bag. I've gotten the best results by using the netting and the bags.

If you need a trellis to support the vines you can build one with 10 foot sections of PVC/CPVC pipe that you can get from a hardware store (cheap). Drill holes in the pipe and use machine screws to hold the pieces together. On the vertical sections drill holes every 6 inches or so so you can string copper wire across the trellis to increase the support for the vines.

Another issue is when do you pick them? Jung has a tip that you should test the bottom grape of a bunch and when it is sweet enough, pick the bunch. The trouble is that green grapes are often unevenly distributed throughout the entire bunch, rather than just being on the bottom. I end up picking bunches early so as to avoid losing grapes to the ants, wasps and other garden monsters.) Reliance seedless grapes that are freshly picked can have a sharp taste but if you let them sit on a sunny window sill for a couple of days they will mellow. Even grapes that are only slightly pinkish will still be nice and sweet but they will lack the robust flavor of a really ripe grape. My Reliance seedless are ripening more or less around mid-August.

Reliance seedless will have a few blooms in July and August and these often mature before frost so you can have a few extra bunches late in the season.

Pruning is necessary to divert energy from the roots into the fruit. If you don't prune then the energy from the root will go out into lots of buds to form lots of leaves and the flower bunches that come out will simply fall off for lack of nourishment. With pruning the energy can "back up" into the flower bunches and they won't fall off. Pruning is done in late February or early March. After doing the cuts the vines may leak some water for several days to a week but eventually this will stop and it doesn't do the plant any harm. There are lots of rules for pruning. I'm kind of hap-hazard about it. Here is one plan taken from the 1959 Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening:

A general rule to follow in pruning is leave two buds the year the planting is done. Second year, prune off all growth except one strong cane and leave three to five buds. Tie this cane to the first wire of the trellis. Third year, leave two fruiting canes of six to eight buds each. Fourth year, leave two longer fruiting canes of eight to 12 buds each. Fifth year, three fruiting canes of 10 to 12 buds on each.

In selecting fruiting cases use those of the previous season's growth. Leave one spur for each fruiting cane. A spur is a cane cut back to two buds. The reason for leaving these is that the canes growing from the spur is used for a fruiting cane the following year. Thus the fruiting canes are kept near to the trunk of the vine.

If you want to make more grape vines you can take cuttings from your plant and do as follows. Note though that modern varieties are patented and you're not allowed to clone this way although you can of course work from seeds. Take cuttings that are about a foot long and put them in a bottle of water so that about half the cutting is in water and bring them inside and put them in a sunny cool window where the water will not overheat. After several weeks the buds will open and the leaves will come out and after several more weeks roots will grow. When they have enough roots plant them in a small pot.

The fertilizer recommendations I've seen vary. One reference says a general purpose fertilizer will do. An old Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening says that potassium is especially important and you should apply 2 to 3 pounds of finely ground granite rock to the soil around a vine in the fall. Roots go out 3 to 6 feet from the base so spread out the rock. But where the heck are you going to find finely ground granite rock? To get potassium into the plant I've been using spray on kelp rated at 1-0-4. They say nitrogen is important too but phosphorus is not.

Grapes often get mildew (white powder) on the leaves or suffer from other fungus diseases. Problems like these can be minimized by growing the grapes in a very sunny area with lots of air circulation. Then there are varieties that are immune to these diseases and others that are only resistant, choose your variety carefully especially if you want to avoid spraying. If you have to spray the standard spray to use is Bordeaux spray, a mixture of copper sulfate and lime. These chemicals are safe in the sense that VERY small amounts of them inside your body will probably not do any kind of obvious damage. (Copper comes in Certs for instance, sulfate comes in glucosamine sulfate (said to cure osteo-arthritis), calcium (from lime) is just plain good for building strong bones.) On the other hand, copper sulfate is an acid salt, a solution of it is pretty much like sulfuric acid, the acid found in a car battery and it can cause burns. So you must be careful not to get any of it in your eyes, lungs, mouth, into cuts, into children or pets, etc., etc.. More than likely it would cause metal to corrode as well. The spray can be applied dry or dissolved in water.

I've also tried Soap Shield, a copper based soap from Gardens Alive. Its a liquid that comes in a 16 ounce bottle, normally use one ounce per gallon of water, spray once or week or after rain. I found this was effective in stopping mold that was destroying the berries. Its also easier to use, I think, than the Bordeaux spray powder. It decays away into copper plus fatty acids, both of which can be used by plants. I originally got Soap Shield to combat black spot on roses where it also seems to be pretty effective so you can actually put it to good use on other plants as well.

One source for grapes is Miller Nurseries in New York, they have quite a number of varieties available. I have never ordered from them, I got my Reliance seedless vine from Jung in Wisconsin. I suggest you browse a number of catalogs to learn all you can about each variety before making a choice, quite often one catalog will include details not found in another catalog.


Labels: ,

How To Grow Grapes

Growing grapes successfully depends on several things. All grapes require full sun, moderate water and some timely care. However, you will have more success if you select and plant a variety that thrives in your climate.
There are three basic types of grapes; wine (such as Cabernet or Chardonnay), table (Thompson seedless or Red Flame) and slipskin (Concord). Here's how to grow them:

* STEP 1: Select the type of grape you want to plant (wine, table or slipskin), then look for a variety that suits your climate. Ask your local nursery professional which variety of grape does best in your area. Some varieties prefer more or less heat and finding a variety that does well in your location is the key to successful viticulture.

* STEP 2: Plant grapes from nursery stock or cuttings in a site located in full sun which is mandatory for good fruit production. The developing fruit requires ample heat. Vines planted in partial shade are susceptible to fungus disease.

* STEP 3: Amend the existing soil so that it is loose, fast draining and loamy. Grapes are very deep rooted, so the deeper you amend the soil, the better. Organic compost added to a depth of 24-36 inches is ideal.

* STEP 4: Provide a trellis or other type of support for the vines. Some varieties grow rampantly and will need ample support. Trellising also keeps the fruit above the surface of the soil where it is susceptible to rot. Grapes can be trained to grow along a south-facing fence or as espalier along the side of a building. Arbors and traditional grape stakes work very well to keep the fruit off the ground.

* STEP 5: Prune grape vines when they are dormant. Fruit is produced on one year old wood, on stems that have formed the previous season. One year wood has smooth bark, older wood has a shaggy appearance. Retain a basic framework and remove long runners to keep plants compact and under control.

* STEP 6: Remove long runners mid-season to keep plants under control.

Overall Tips & Warnings

* Grape vine prunings make wonderful wreaths! Weave them together while the wood is still green inside and easy to bend. It will harden as it dries.

* If planted in proper conditions, loose soil and full sun, grape vines need little or no fertilizer.

* There are several deadly diseases that affect grape vines nationally. Contact your local County Agricultural Commission if you suspect infestation by sharpshooter or leafhopper insects.