Growing Grapes Is Easy


In deep summer now the grape vines are lush and dark green, beautiful, and with clusters of still unripe grapes hidden under the broad leaves. A couple of months from now the grapes will be ripe and the family can decide to eat them fresh, or make raisins, or make wine or grape juice.

 grape bowl 

Besides food, grape vines provide me with shade and privacy, since the vines can be — must be — trained to provide architectural structure in the edible landscape and to keep them healthy.

 grape porch beauty 

I got into growing grapes by accident, almost 30 years ago, although I had been exposed to the idea of grapes and vineyards as a young child, in the Central Valley of California. But much later, in North Carolina, my husband and I bought an old house that had a broken-down grape arbor smothered by vines in the back yard. Since I didn't know what else to do, at the tender age of 29, I cut the two or three vines down to the ground — figuring I had killed the whole thing and could start over with something new.

The next year, though, vigorous new vines emerged, and the year after that the kids and I harvested 40 pounds of grapes. We learned how to make grape juice and grape jelly.

10/20/2020 5:19:47 PM

Be aware that vines left to grow through porch railings and stairs and such will pull the supports apart as they grow. Pay attention to your spot because it’s all about location....

8/20/2018 5:56:10 AM

Ugh! My grapes got black rot😕... I planted 16 vines and was so excited to have grapes. Waited three years for grapes(sleep, creep and leap) as my mom said. It took awhile and now they have black rot. It was very hot and humid during the spring and I do think where they are planted it is too damp at times. I feel like I need to start over based on what I have read about black rot. Do you agree? Many thanks.

Patricia Campbell
7/10/2012 8:59:59 PM

This article is exciting. I pruned my grapes like the article says and I am growing them on a railing so I didn't expect much of a harvest. They look just like these pictures and I am checking each day to see if they are ripe. I grew purple grapes for the last three years but animals got them before I could. They don't seem so attracted to green grapes. Thanks for the encouragement!

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