Grapes send their roots deep where they can, and
they prefer a soil that is rich in organic material. You can encourage growth by adding an
organic supplement at planting time and mulching the roots afterward. The site should have
good air circulation because grapes are subject to disease in stagnant air.
Fertilizing & Disease Control
Grapes need to be fed only nitrogen and may not always need that. If the
leaves yellow and there is little growth in the early part of the season, they definitely
need feeding. Late feeding during the ripening period can force excessive growth and spoil
the fruit. Grapes mildew badly and need good air circulation and often treatment with a
fungicide. The classic remedy is copper sulfate.
Grapes fruit on lateral shoots on year-old canes. All grapes require
heavy pruning to produce fruit. Leave two whole canes from the previous growing season and
two canes cut back to two buds. The short canes will form replacements for the others when
they are through fruiting. When fruit forms from side growth along this cane, clip the
cane off beyond the next set of leaves. You thereby encourage two new canes that will bear
fruit the following year.