How to Grow Grapes In The Phoenix Valley

How to Grow Grapes In The Phoenix Valley

If you are searching how to grow grapes in the Phoenix Valley you’re one of many Arizona residents that want to grow their own grapes.  Grapes are a great addition to any garden and are a welcomed refreshing snack.  Not only do grape vines produce the fruit but they add lots of greenery to make your landscape more lush and green.

Right Location For Growing Grapes

The first step in growing grapes in your Phoenix landscape is choosing the right location.  While most plants need some shade throughout the day grapes are the exception.  They thrive in full sun and at worst a leaf or two might dry up.  You can minimize this by staying on top of your watering. You should also choose a location where there will be room for the grape vine to grow up and spread out without overrunning other plants or your property.

If you need shade for other plants in your landscape grapes can actually be used to provide a sunscreen to protect the more sun sensitive plants.

Grape Vine Support & Training

Grapes grow best when the vine has something to grow up and expand on such as a trellis, fence, arch or even single stake. You should avoid using hurricane or chain link fences as the plant will overcome the openings in the fencing.

Training your grapevine will help you establish a straight trunk and better root system.  After your vine has grown new shoots during the first growing season you will need select the straightest one and tie it off to your stake, fence, or trellis. It may seem scary but remove all other shoots after tying off your best one.  Let your chosen shoot grow to about 5 feet and cut it back to about 42 inches at the end of the growing season.

Watering Your Grape Vines

Growing plump and delicious grapes starts with getting the watering right. While some plants need lots of specific attention grapes do well on your grass watering schedule. So if you choose a location that already gets water from your sprinklers you may not need to worry about any supplemental watering for your grape vines.

Protect Your Grapes From Pests

It isn’t just you and your family that crave the flavor of grapes, bugs and birds around your landscape will want a bite.  To protect your grapes it is a good idea to use mesh bags to keep the birds away from your grapes. Attach the bags securely with ties, rubber bands, and check them often to ensure they aren’t getting untied or loose.

Insects are also an issue that you need to be proactive about.  If you see leaves getting areas that are lighter or transparent you should flip the leaf over to check for caterpillars. If you see black flying bugs which are slow, aimless, and seem harmless you need to take action. Your local nursery will have pesticides which will help keep the bugs off and your grapes healthy.

Pruning Your Grape Vines

Pruning can be done by two different methods, cane pruning and spur pruning.  Cane pruning is usually the best for home gardens while spur pruning is most common with commercial grape growing.  We’re going to focus on can pruning as full time grape growers already have their techniques mastered.

Cane Pruning Grapes

You need a wire support system to get started that is 42 inches high and another 14 inches above that. The wire acts as a place to tie your vines to and to help prevent shoot breakage.  For the best grape vines you should wait until the 3rd year to grow fruit.  You’ll need to resist letting the grapes grow in the second year and remove the clusters before they bloom. If you don’t do this your vine will be stunted and not grow as much or as well when mature.

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