The greenhouses in our area have recently received shipments of bare root grapevines. I couldn’t resist and bought four: one Concord with seeds, two seedless Concords, and a red Catawba. Our local greenhouse gave me excellent instructions on planting them which I’ll share with you.
- Soak the roots for one hour in a root stimulant solution. (After soaking, you can use the solution to water after you’ve set them in the ground.)
- Prune any dead roots.
- Dig a hole deep and wide enough that the roots do not bend when sitting in the hole. Give them “elbow room.” Set in the hole so that the root collar is about 2 inches below the soil level.
Work compost or peat moss into the soil and water with the solution you had used to soak your roots.
Prune the top to 1 stem containing 3 or 4 buds.
Keep the ground around your vines lightly cultivated for the next couple of years to allow the vines to establish a good root system.
A great resource for planting grapes, fruit trees, and vegetables is your state university extension office and website. In Missouri, our extension website is http://extension.missouri.edu/news/. Ask your local greenhouse about what varieties work best in your area.
I’ll write more about caring for grapes later.