Grape staking ?

echoes_or(Zone 3)July 8, 2006

You know I grew up around grapes but never paid much attention to how they were mainained.... Well now I need to know something and hope you will help me. I bought a grape plant last year and it's growing it's little heart out this summer but I need to stake/train it somehow. So the question is how does one control a grape plant and get it up off the ground and not so wild looking. I was thinking I should probably get control now while still small and manageable. Kinda like children huh?


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Echoes- you could grow it on a sturdy trellis or arch, and I've also seen it grown as an espalier with something like rebar for a frame. At some point it's going to have quite a trunk, so if it was me I'd be looking for something heavy duty for the long-term. Grapes! Yummmmmmy!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2006 at 3:18PM
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gurley157fs(zone 7/8sc)

There are very specific guidelines on how to grow and maintain grapes. Do a google search or check out the extention agent in your area.
If you just let them run rampant they will probably be O.K. too but trained properly they will bear for decades.

You want to find the main branch coming out of the ground and then determine wich two branches that split off from the main are the best and healthyest looking. Those branches should be trained horizontally. They will put out more branches. After the winter is over, somewhere around Easter, you trim all off all the extra branches except the main and the two offshoots. Your trellis or arbor needs to be very strong. As the grape matures it will put a lot of pressure on your structure. Many vineyards use cable tightly strung between posts.

That is probably a horrible explanation - that is why I suggest that you google for a more educated answer than mine :-).

    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 6:48PM
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I have a huge one that is several years old on my chain link fence. I have to go out every few days and wind it through it. It can grab on, but not very well. I also planted 3 new ones around a new arbor, and they are quite
small. I had to tie them to the posts leading to the
lattice till they could reach it, and I still have to help wind them through it.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 2:28AM
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echoes_or(Zone 3)

Gurley, what you describe it basically what I remember from my growing up years. It has two main branches shooting straight from each side already so I was thinking of putting in a support system that would encourgae them growing that way but I would shortly run out of room going side to side but maybe I can train to go up from that starting point. Thank you everyone for helping, now I just need to get er done!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 4:50PM
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This is what my mature grape vine looks like every summer.
It's huge and just full of grapes. We cut it back every
spring to just 2 main shoots off the mature trunk, but let it go wild! Our neighbors prune theirs back constantly, and
they never get the grapes we do.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 6:23PM
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Grapes grow any which way--which is why they've been around for 4000 years! key to control is to cut back in your zone in spring, not winter --before the weather is warm enough for a serious run of new shoots but after any growth might be hit with late frost. ok if some new shoots happen before you cut but once you cut and get new growth, if there's a frost, it will zap the new shoots and there goes the harvest. has impact on next year fruit, too.
grape vines on rocky/gravelly well drained soil can be bush vines (sorta like the medoc or cote d'or, sierra and lake in CA), vines on more clay soil do better higher (to let air flow and avoid mildew--even 8ft trellised--as in vinho verde region of portugal, spain or veneto and southeast US).
also if you're looking for a crop, dont plant close to house as those juicy grapes will attract hornets etc. if the vine is for fruit, plant farther away. if to drape for pergola shading etc., cut the fruit before they are quite ripe.
tons of websites give more detail, just be as specific as possible in searching.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2006 at 3:39AM
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