How to Tend Grape Vines

Updated July 19, 2017

Grapevines are an excellent addition to any backyard garden because they are relatively easy to maintain, elegant and long-lasting, as they are perennial plants. But tending to your grapevines is essential in keeping the plants well-trimmed and healthy.

Speak with an expert at a local nursery to establish the specific growth vigour and needs of your grapevines. Because there are a variety of grapevine species, it is important to determine the exact distance needed between vines and how much support your plant needs.

Run the wire along the back of the grapevine bed, looping the plants along the wire. Use wooden stakes if necessary to support the wire trellis system, or loop the wire along an existing fence if available.

Monitor your grapevines to ensure they are not drooping. Because there are many different varieties of grapevine, some plants need more distance and support than others. If your plants are drooping, lift them onto the wire or run the wire between plants.

Water your plants at least once a week. Grapevines need an abundance of water during the summer and spring months, when growth is more substantial, especially when grown in dry areas that do not receive much rain. Use a watering can or sprinkler to water the plants.

Do not overwater. Overwatering grapevines can lead to a slower ripening process. Do not water the vines once you see the fruit begin to change colour.

Prune your grapevines to discourage overgrowth or tangling of the vines. During the first winter, remove all but the strongest stems of the grapevines at the base of the plant. Once the grapevines reach a desired height, it is important to cut back the top of the trunk to force new growth along the main drunk. Use shears to trim the stems and trunk.

Things You'll Need

  • Existing grapevines
  • Wire
  • Watering can
  • Sprinkler
  • Shears
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About the Author

Elizabeth Baker holds a Masters of Fine Arts in nonfiction writing and has been working with Demand Media Studios since 2002, specializing in health, education, food and travel topics.