Growing grapevines

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Growing Grapevines
Homegrown grapes can be used in making jams, juices and baked goods. Follow these tips on growing grapes in the home garden.

Homegrown grapes can be used in making jams, juicesand baked goods and can be grown fresh on the vine right at home, regardless of what climate or part of the country you live in. In fact, grapes are grown all over the world in virtually any climateor soil type. Here's how to grow your own grapes fresh from the garden. Plant Selection and Planting Most grapes require full sun, moderate amounts of water and a rich, well-draining, slightly acidicsoil. When selecting the planting site, avoid heavy clay, waterlogged or consistently dry soils; sandy loam soils are ideal. The site should also have good air flow and a southern exposure; gentlysloping site with southern exposure is ideal as it typically has the warmest temperatures. Prior to planting, have a soil test done to check pH and organic matter levels. Apply the recommended soilamendments as needed and work it into the soil by tilling. When selecting which types of grapes to grow, consider your region and climate. European types of grapes are usually grown in the western UnitedStates and enjoy a long, warm growing season. American species are grown in short-season areas, such as the northeastern states. Muscadine grapes do well in the humid South. The best time to plantgrapevines is in early spring. In colder climates where heaving occurs, avoid planting grapevines in fall in order to prevent this. Plant potted stock so that the graft, which is the swollen joint on thestem just above the root ball, is just

above the soil surface. Cut back all canes but the strongest central leader; prune away damaged or dead roots. Cut back the remaining central leader to twobuds. Grapes also grow easily from cuttings taken during the dormant season. In early spring, before the buds begin to swell, plant cuttings in a prepared 24"-deep hole with two buds just above the...