Distance to Plant Grape Plants
- Grapes prefer slightly acidic soil. They grow best in soil with a pH between 5.0 and 6.0. Perform a soil sample test to provide the exact pH level. If the soil sample test indicates a low pH, add lime in the ratio suggested by the soil sample test. Fertilizer containing ammonium-N helps lower the pH level of soil.
Planting and Training
- Grape vines grow large and require a system for training them. Two horizontal wires stretched between posts, or a trellis, offer a support system for grape vines. Place the bottom wire about 36 inches from the ground and the top wire roughly 60 inches from the ground. The Ohio State University website recommends planting grapes 8 feet apart when using a trellis. Tie the vines to the wire for added support. This also helps the trunk grow straight as the vine matures.
- Approximately two weeks after planting your grapes, apply a 10-6-4 nitrogen fertilizer around your grape vines, between 6 and 12 inches from its trunk. Use 10 pounds per 100 foot row as directed by the University of Minnesota Extension's website. For single plants, apply 1 pound of the nitrogen fertilizer. Every year in early spring after cold temperatures subside and before new growth begins, apply the same amount of fertilizer. Avoid using fertilizer that contains an herbicide around your grapes.
- Pruning a grape vine encourages new vegetation, which produces fruit. When the vine touches the bottom wire of the trellis, start pruning your grapes during the dormant season, which is right before spring. Prune the shoots between the wires and cut the lower shoots down between two buds. Fruit forms on the shoots growing from the buds.