QUICK REFERENCE PLANTING GUIDE
1. Light/Sun Exposure - Full to partial sun.
2. USDA Hardiness Zones - 4 to 10.
3. Planting Distance - 8 to 15 feet apart.
4. Mature Height/Spread - 12-15 feet horizontally the first year and up to a 20 foot spread by the 2nd year. Plant will need some type of support, such as a trellis or railing, on which to grow.
5. Bloom Time - May bloom in all zones with fruit in late July in zones 6 through 10 and fruit in August and September in zones 4 and 5.
6. Planting Instructions - Select a site on which you can train your vines in full sun, whether it is against a wall, along a fence, on an arbor or even a small trellis. It will need support for fruit production.
Dig holes that are wide enough and deep enough to insert the plant without bending or crowding the roots. Build a mound of soil in the bottom of the hole to place the roots on. The plant should be positioned atop the mound so that the soil line on the stem or spurs is at ground level after you fill the hole. If adjustment is needed, fill in or remove soil from the mound to achieve this. Fill the hole ½ full with soil, firm around the roots and then fill the planting hole with water. After the water has soaked in, fill the remainder of the hole with soil and water again. Remove (prune off) all but one spur (branch) above ground. The first year your fruit production will be from this spur.
Although these plants will perform well in average garden soils of all types, we recommend having your soil tested periodically by the local County Extension Office. These tests can determine if the soil needs any amendments to enhance your plants' growth and performance. See below for our recommended practice to improve your soil without any additional testing:
1. Spade or till the soil to a depth of 12-18 inches.
2. To provide nutrients and improve drainage, add organic matter to your soil by mixing in a 2 to 4-inch layer of dehydrated manure, garden compost, shredded leaves, and/or peat moss.
3. After active growth begins, periodically feed with Cottage Farms' water soluble Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster for Fruits and Vegetables. Plants in containers need more frequent watering and feeding, especially when in active growth and bloom.
Water - Your plants require 1" of rainfall (or equivalent watering) each week when planted in the ground. Do not allow plants in containers to dry out. In a container that is exposed to full sun, water it well at least once every other day, and possibly every day, during periods of intense summer heat. You may wish to temporarily move containerized plants to an area where they are shielded from the hot summer sun (i.e. in the shade of a tree, on a porch near an overhang).
Mulching - Apply a 2-4 inch layer of shredded bark, compost or other organic mulch around your plants to promote moisture retention, maintain even soil temperatures, and to discourage weed growth.
Weeding - Keep the area around your plants free of weeds. Weeds compete with all plants for food, water and light. Walk around the garden periodically and pull weeds, including the roots, as soon as you see them.
Grooming - Because the grapes your vine produces form on the current season's canes, that part of the plant is almost like an annual in that it grows rapidly for only one season. You can expect robust vines to produce numerous canes that can grow to 12 or 15 feet or longer in a single season. Pruning is necessary at the end of the vine's growing season in the fall. If you want to train your vine to grow on an arbor or trellis, pruning encourages grapes to grow where you want them and not all over the ground or climbing up nearby trees. You want to prune off about 90% of the existing wood that grows each season. In order to promote the best growth for next year's growing season and fruit production, it is best to leave four canes on each side of the vine. Choose shiny canes with dark bark. Prune out older canes that have begun to crack. If you leave about 12 short spurs close to the main trunk, they will grow into the following season's fruit-producing canes.
Feeding - Feed your plants once every 2-3 weeks during the growing season with a water-soluble fertilizer such as Cottage Farms' Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster. Discontinue feeding after September 1st so your plants can harden off for winter dormancy. Resume fertilizing when new growth appears in the spring.
Winterizing - A thorough watering in late fall will greatly enhance the plant's cold tolerance.
The time to protect your plants in the garden is after the ground has frozen. At that time, apply a winter mulch of evergreen boughs, straws or leaves to prevent lifting of the plant's roots during alternating periods of freezing and thawing.
For container planting, move plants next to your home's southern foundation for added warmth and protection. They may also be moved into an unheated, protected area such as a garage or cellar. If moved to a protected area be sure you water them well once every 7 to 10 days.
In spring, remove the mulch from in-ground plantings. Also, bring containerized plants back out into the garden sunlight where they will immediately begin to repeat their yearly garden performance.
CAUTION: Not all plant material is edible. Though most plants are harmless, some contain toxic substances which can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, or other discomforts. As a general rule, only known food products should be eaten. In case of ingestion, please contact your local poison control center at once and advise them of the plant ingested. Keep out of reach of children.