Grape-growing advice for a rookie?

mayberrygardener(z5a, Broomfield, CO)May 13, 2011

OOPS I DID IT AGAIN... I went and bought without doing my research. I have a couple of damp-root grapes waiting for a home, and I'd like to get them planted yet this (hopefully one of the last) cooler weekend. However, I'm pretty limited in my yard, and have two locations to choose from.

I'd like to plant them up against a back fence--they'd get mid-day sun (east-facing fence, and morning sun is blocked by sunlight), but I don't know what kind of trellising they need--can they just "grab" onto the fence itself? It's a 6' privacy fence with almost no space between slats, and the cross-beams are on the neighbors' side. Alternately, I do have a south-facing fence that will get much more shade, but has sometimes soggy feet (and might be harder to mulch in during the winter).

My location is Broomfield, between Boulder and Denver.

Okay, all you grape-gardening gurus, please help me with some pointers! (I did see the "dig deep and amend, amend, amend" info from the other grape-growing thread... ) THANK YOU!

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mayberrygardener(z5a, Broomfield, CO)

Forgot to mention, it'll be going pretty much "in the yard" in the middle of the grass (well, up against the fence, but I'm not planning any "landscaping" around it, other than something to protect the main trunk for when hubby gets ambitious with the weedwhacker), and the watering habit will be the regular lawn sprinklers on their regular cycles.

I'm about *this close* to finding a trellis that'll fit in a container, sticking the whole kit & caboodle in there, and hauling it into the garage for winter... wish me luck finding a container that's 1) big enough to successfully house two grapes--the idea is to eventually eat some, and 2) small enough to lug in for hibernation. Yeah, scratch that container idea.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 9:59PM
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I'd go for the fence, and over the coming year, look around for some kind of a trellis to sink in the ground. The vine won't get out of hand this summer.

Re trellises, I grow lots of clematis vines, and ended up using that Gawd-awful ugly 4" x 4" concrete mesh stuff, attached to the walls. In practice, once the vine gets started, nobody looks to see what is holding it up.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 9:48AM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

"I'm about *this close* to finding a trellis that'll fit in a container, sticking the whole kit & caboodle in there, and hauling it into the garage for winter..."

Uhhhh! I don't think so! Check out these pics!

Definitely "scratch that container idea!"

Ditto what David says! And since you have the "flat" side of the fence, I recommend using some "spacers" between the fence and the trellis if you're going to attach it directly to the fence. That way you'll be able to "weave" the vines in and out of the openings more easily as it grows.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 1:42PM
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I am reading the book "Gaia's Garden" by Toby Hemenway (2nd ed) - a tome about home scale permaculture. In there, he mentions planting daffodils around the drip line of apple trees as a very effective gopher deterrent - and the lightbulb went off. Several years ago, I bought some ridiculous quantity of grade "B" daffodil bulbs and planted them in the border all around the place, and have only rarely had gopher issues - although across the county road they have a regular Vail Valley condo complex going.

And I figured that to protect grape vines from voles, here's the ticket.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 9:22AM
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