Did you know that you can grow grapes in containers? Grapes are the good-for-you snack that is low in calories and high in nutritional value. It is an excellent source of Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin B-6, Riboflavin, Thiamin and Manganese.
A cup of grapes contains 104 calories! The tart sweetness and fruit size make them a kid-friendly food that parents can feel good about giving to their kids. When you grow grapes in containers, you’ll be rewarded with tasty delicious fruit that can be readily picked from your backyard grape vine.
Grapes grow on vines, and those vines will need to be trained to grow on a trellis, so start with containers large enough to support the grape vines and trellis system. Many people grow grapes in half a wine barrel that has been cut in half, but any similarly sized container will do.
Grapes need acidic, well-draining soil to grow in. Start with an acidic potting soil mixture and mix in 1part compost to 4 parts potting soil. Plant one grape vine in the center of the prepared soil. Place the container in a full sun location.
This is the hardest part to growing grapes – 3 years of patience. The first three years must be devoted to training and pruning the grape vines so they will produce strong canes and large clusters of juicy grapes for many seasons to come.
Do not fertilize grape vines the first year. Mulch the grape vines with organic matter during the summer, but remove The mulch in the winter so rodents won’t make the mulch their winter home.
When more than three new shoots have emerged on the vine and grown to longer than two inches, choose the best three shoots and remove all others by snapping them off the vine. This will promote faster and stronger growth for the three shoots that remain.
The first year, add a trellis or wooden stake to loosely tie the grape vines too they grow. Trellis or stakes will train the grape vine to grow straight up, allow for maximum sun and air exposure and protect vines from breaking. Remove all flower clusters that form the first year as will steal energy away from the developing grape vine if left on the vine.
The second year the grape vine needs to fertilized with a balanced 10-10-10 fertilize. Apply 1/2 cup of fertilize per vine as soon as the buds begins to swell. Continue to loosely tie new growth to the trellis. Remove all buds.
During the third year after planting grape vines continue fertilizing and remove all low buds. Prune canes to one main cane and 2 side canes.
The vines should be strong enough by the third year to produce a small crop of grapes. Remove half of the flowers so the vines’ energy won’t be depleted by grape production.
The fourth year is when you can allow as many flower clusters to remain on the grape vines as you wish and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Continue pruning, fertilizing and mulching your grape vines throughout the life of the vines.