Growing grapes is not something that relies on sheer luck to succeed. If you want to see delicious table grapes hanging in luscious clusters from your vines, then you need to adhere to a thorough grape growing system. This system should cover everything from the location of your vineyard to pruning, and you can read more about it online.
Here is an overview of the topics that a good grape growing system should have. When you try to draw up a system, you may not find everything you need to know in one book so look up several resources until you are sure you have all the information you need.
A good grape showing system must include planning the various steps in planting your vineyard, even to the extent of calling for tree removal services in order to create needed space. You may think that there is no need for such elaborate preparations because you are only going to plant two or three vines. Remember that there is nothing more pathetic than two sickly vines bearing little or no fruit which is what could happen without proper planning. On the other hand, two healthy vines could yield more than fifty pounds of grapes per harvest.
Planning should include determining the right location for your vines so that they get the sun that they need; it involves choosing the variety that would do well in your climate. Of course your choice of varieties also includes deciding whether you want table grapes or wine grapes.
Your grape growing system should cover an analysis of your soil. Grapes need to be planted in fertile sandy loam with a pH balance of 5.5 to 7.5. Grapes need good drainage so if your soil is water logged, that simply won't do.
Planting and Maintenance
When your garden is ready and your soil is prepared, your system should include clear instructions on how to plant your vines and how to prune trees. In general, these instructions should inform you about how deep you have to dig to give the plants' roots enough room to grow; when you are supposed to fertilize; how to recognize pests and diseases and how to deal with them. Moreover, you should have an idea of how to control weeds.
Supporting the Vines
A good system must include the choice of an appropriate trellis or support system to help the vines grow healthy and ensure a good harvest. The type of trellis you will need depends on the variety you plant and the climate in your vineyard. There are many types of trellises and each one has its advantages and disadvantage which you must take into account before you put the first stake or the first wire into the soil.
Once the trellis is in, you will need to train the branches of your vines so that they will not become a tangled mess that does not allow sunlight in and air to circulate. Your system should provide at least basic instruction on how this is done.
A thorough system will not leave canopy management to chance. This means having good and illustrated instruction on correct pruning treatments and thinning out branches. Vines should be pruned well; this means at least 70 percent of the previous year's growth is to be removed. Pointers on where and how to cut should be part of the system; this maintenance chore ensures that the vine is healthy and productive. Just as the type of trellis ensures good light and air, pruning makes sure that both are sustained.
A thorough system would also include calendars, reminders and notes on all the maintenance chores that have to be undertaken because grape growing is a long term project with many activities along the way. These activities and chores though are amply rewarded when you see cluster upon cluster of grape hanging on your healthy vines.