How to care for a grapevine
Taking care of a grapevine is a fairly easy job. Once the vine is planted in a sunny location with it’s roots spread out in deep well drained soil on a south facing spot the shaping, feeding and harvesting is all that is needed.
As soon as the soil can be dug, plant vines with strong root systems. Vines should be about seven feet apart. Remove all the stems which grape experts call canes except the most hardy one.Trim off any broken or very long roots. Put the vine in a hole big enough to spread the roots out and at the same depth as it was in the nursery. Cover with good soil. Trim the vine again after planting to one cane with two buds which will become two canes when they grow . This will help to develop the T shape you will want in the mature vine.
Roaming all over is not good for vines. Train the stronger ot the two canes or main stems which develop. Let it be no longer than six feet tall. Take small shoots off the bottom of the cane in March or February when the vine is still dormant. Cut away the weaker cane. If neither cane is three feet long cut the vine back to two buds again. Remember your goal is to develop a T shape with a strong central vine stem and two arms at the side.
Fertilize two weeks after planting. A pound of 10-6-4 fertilizer per plant is enough. Every year the vine should be fed in the early spring .
Mulch with materials five inches deep to hold moisture around the vine. This mulch will also kill weeds which would compete with the vine for the nutrients in the soil. Using mulch to improve conditions is better for the vines than using weedkilling compounds and watering the vines.