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About Grapes 

 

Grapes are members of the Vitis family, they are an ancient fruit and the group as a whole is very versatile. Every known culture has grown grapes for juice, wine and fresh eating. Some of the many uses for grapes include jams, jellies, juice, wine, vinegar, grape seed extracts and oils and raisins. The fruit can be crimson, black, dark blue, yellow, green or pink in color. Touted for their health benefits, grapes contain phytochemicals such as Resveratrol, a polyphenol antioxidant inked to inhibiting cancer, heart disease, degenerative nerve disease, viral infections and the mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease.

 

Select a sunny location with good drainage to plant grapes. Water regularly and deeply for the first year, especially during dry periods. Fertilize with an all purpose fertilizer before the plant comes out of dormancy in the spring. Adding mulch annually to reduces weeds and preserves moisture. If needed, use an insecticidal soap during the growing season to control insect pests.

Grape Pruning

 

There are various methods of supporting grape vines, and this will determine some of the pruning practices. In all case, a single trunk should support two or more permanent arms (cordons), and the fruiting canes (spurs) develop from these arms. Dormant prune in late winter to remove most of the previous years' growth, keeping 3 to 5 buds (nodes) per spur. Failure to prune the old wood will result in reduced grape production.