To taste your own grapes!
In natural trellis like a hedge, along a wall to give character to your house or even in trellis to shade your terrace, there are several ways to plant vines at home.
But how to plant it well? How to prune it? And how to maintain it? Find out in this article everything you need to know about the vine !
Which vine to plant?
The great thing about the vine is that it is self-fertile, meaning it won’t need other vines nearby to fruit and give you good grapes! Even though, in theory, you can choose any varietal for your garden (depending on the type of varietal you like, of course), you still need to take into account the climatic conditions of the region in which you live.
in the north of France
The vine is a resistant plant that is not too afraid of low temperatures, but if you live in a region that is quite cold in winter, it is better choose a variety that is neither early nor too late. This allows the grapes to be picked at the right time, between the end of August and September, when they have benefited from excellent sunshine, good heat and are therefore full of flavour! (If you are going to cultivate your vines in a greenhouse, or even on a terrace, you can obviously opt for early or late grape varieties.)
In the south of France
If you live in the south no restriction on the grape variety : you can have fun! Do not hesitate to plant several grape varieties (red vine, white grape, black grape, etc.) with different maturations. Its annual harvest will be longer and you can enjoy its fruits throughout the end of the summer season and the beginning of the autumn season.
Where and when to plant vines?
A vine is planted when it is in a dormant period, that is to say from late autumn to early spring, from october to march. However, it is advisable not to wait for spring and to choose to plant in late autumn or early winter to avoid periods of frost and give the vines a chance to grow from the first spring. If you live in an area that is not affected by periods of frost (or if you are going to grow your vine in a greenhouse), you can plant it all winter.
As for its location in your garden, be sure to place your vine in a place where it will be well exposed to the sun while being protected from the winds. Ideally, place it against a wall, facing south (or even east). On the soil side, the vine is not very difficult and adapts to almost all soils. obviously she has a preference for well-drained soils, deep enough, and don’t even care if the ground is poor enough or rocky enough. For good fruiting, it is preferable not to plant it in too fertile soil: indeed, it would tend to develop its vegetation to the detriment of its fruits!
How to plant a vine?
Planting a vine is not very complicated: since it is a plant, planting it looks like what you are used to doing in your garden. If you have decided to opt for an entire row of vines, spread your feet at least 1.50 m apart. The trellised vine tends to take up a little more space!
- Carefully choose the location of your vine.
- So clean this place remove all weeds.
- dig a hole big enough (at least 30 cm wide and deep).
- Mix with the extracted soil compost and 3 to 4 handfuls of fertilizer.
- Open the bottom of the root ball (if you bought it as a root ball) to loosen the roots a bit.
- cut those roots if they are too long.
- Pour some of your soil into the hole and place your vine stock.
- Position it so that the the grafting point protrudes about 4 to 5 cm from the ground.
- Then fill the hole with the rest of the mixture.
- Finally place a tutor to which you will attach your vine, but without tightening it too much.
Plant a potted vine
You can also plant your vines in pots rather than in the ground. In this case, choose a container large enough to allow the roots to develop (10 cm below and above). In addition to watering, you will also need to ensure that you regularly fertilize your soil and renew it by a third each year.
When and how to prune a vine?
The size of the vine is essential for the production of beautiful bunches, and this size intervenes several times a year and at different stages of your plant’s growth. If you let it grow untended, the vine will grow well and grow quickly (whether you choose to grow on a trellis or on a wall), but it will produce a lot more wood than fruit. . Without regular pruning, your vine won’t yield many grapes, or the grapes you produce won’t be as tasty as you hoped!
Prune after planting
When planting a young vine plant, it is important to keep only the first 2 shoots on the main stem: the goal is obviously to obtain 2 vigorous shoots rather than many weak branches. The following year, just after winter, one of the two branches will also have to be removed.
- Locate the strongest branch of the two: this is the one you keep.
- Using secateurs, cut the other not at the base, but where it gives 2 shoots. (Again to encourage strong branch growth.)
Spring maintenance pruning
The purpose of this pruning is to make your vines bear fruit: march to june, you have to take the time to remove all the weak and sterile branches as well as those which are badly placed. This allows your vine to focus all its energy on the vine shoots that will carry the future bunches!
- In March : Prune the side shoots by pruning above 2el or 3el. You keep only the buds close to the branch of the peak, those which will give the best fruiting, the first being rarely productive. (If you live in the south of France, you start bidding at the end of February).
- In May/June: Using your pruner, cut off any excess shoots over 6 inches long.
Summer maintenance pruning
Summer pruning of your vine is not mandatory: it risksimprove the performance of your foot and the amount of grapes produced. This pruning is mainly used to obtain larger bunches!
- Just after flowering, locate the future small clusters and remove them with scissors.
- A little later in the season, also remove superfluous foliage to promote the penetration of the sun.
Maintenance pruning in winter
When the vine is at rest, it is the ideal time to limit their growth and size, to reduce the aging of the vine and promote the development of new shoots, that is to say the vine shoots. You can also take advantage of this period to give your vineyard the desired look (it grows vertically, horizontally or even in a goblet).
- The vine flowers only on the shoots of the year, those which bear the shoots of the previous year.
- Cut off any branches that have already flowered and borne clusters.
- Then cut the replacement shoots as in the first year after sowing, that is, after 2-3 eyes.
Vine rejuvenation pruning
After several years of fruiting, your vine must necessarily be rejuvenated, always with a view to good fruiting and the production of good quality grapes.
- Cut off any old wood above any young growth that has grown naturally on the main branch or base of your vine with pruning shears.
- If you don’t have any young shoots, prune an old twig at its base to encourage new growth.
How to cut a vine?
From one or more vines, it is very easy to multiply your vines by cuttings. This operation must be carried out in two stages: take the cutting just after leaf fall and plant the cutting in March.
- with the mower, cut a vine.
- Choose a 2-3 year old branch where there are 1-2 year old branches.
- Cut off the ends of these branches. so it is only about 20 cm.
- On the other side, cut just above the eye. (Your cutting should be T-shaped, with the original shoot sticking out 1cm on either side of the cutting.)
- Straighten your cuttings, in fine sand or very light soil.
- Make a mound for the water to drain off.
- Let them stratify all winter..
- Finally transplant them in March or April!
How to take care of a vine?
Although it can withstand high temperatures, low temperatures and almost any type of soil, the vine is nonetheless a classic plant, susceptible to diseases and pests. If you do not want all your efforts to be truncated by the loss of your stock, here is a summary of the main diseases of the vine as well as indications on how to treat them.
The main diseases of the vine are caused by fungi. They also attack all parts of the plant, be it leaves, buds or even wood!
Mould: It causes large brown spots on the leaves, but also darkening of the buds, buds, flowers and stems before necrosis. Bordeaux mixture works very well to get rid of this fungus.
Black rot and black rot: Both leave spots on the leaves before drying out the grapes for the first and destroying the foliage of the vine for the second. Both of these fungi can also be eradicated with a Bordeaux mixture spray.
powdery mildew: It leaves a white powder on the leaves of your vine and tends to break down your fruit, preventing you from consuming it. Preventive treatment is necessary to avoid the spread on all the feet (removal of the affected parts, ventilation of the soles, elimination of humidity, etc.).
Botrytis: Also called gray rot, this fungus, whose development is favored by humidity, attacks the grapes during the ripening phase. It also dries the leaves leaving yellow spots. A preventive treatment similar to that of powdery mildew is recommended, either to prevent its appearance or its spread.
Pests are the second source of concern when you want to keep your vines in perfect health. In particular because they tend to attack flowers or buds and thus prevent fruit harvesting!
The caterpillars : Eudemis and cochylis are the main pests. Called grape maggots, they cause grapes to rot just before they reach maturity. Insecticides are often effective, and you can also set up insect traps to catch moths before they lay their eggs.
Cochineals: They leave small round brown scabs on the leaves, while scale insects leave white marks. They are not dangerous for the crop, but can still cause significant damage. A natural way to get rid of scale insects is to spray black soap directly on the grape leaves.