Tips on reception and planting the grape vines.
1. Consider first where you will plant your grape vines:
- These are sun-loving plants: do not plant your grape vines in the shade of trees or against a north-facing wall. If you lean it on a south-facing wall or if you plant on a slope to the south, they will receive maximum warmth and ripen earlier, the grapes will also be better. A decorative vine can however be planted in partial shade.
- Hybrid grape vines are less demanding than conventional vines (“Vitis vinifera”), which require well-drained and relatively poor soil. Just avoid extreme soils (too acidic, too chalky or too wet) and in most other cases, the vines will accommodate themselves.
2. Open your package upon receipt, water your grape vines and store them in a cool place.
3. If it freezes, wait a bit, making sure that the ball of your grape vines remains moist.
4. As soon as possible, dig a hole 1 foot deep and wide, drop a little bit complete fertilizer (20 to 30 grams of granules or a handful) at the bottom and cover it with a few centimetres of soil to avoid burning the roots in contact with the fertilizer.
5. Pour some compost on soil, put the grape vine on it, undoing only the bottom of the ball to spread a little bit roots, pour compost on the roots and finish filling the planting hole with soil. Tamp it with feet. If the grape vine is grafted, the graft must be off the ground (+ / - 2 inches above). Attach your grape vine loosely to a small stake (string, plastic, raffia ...). Water regularly, so that the ball containing roots remains moist.
6. Planting distances vary depending on several factors such as soil fertility, rainfall, grape vine variety and rootstock used, etc ... An order of magnitude is 5 to 7 feet in the line and 7 to 8 feet between the lines.
7. Very important: do not let weeds growing close to your grape vine in the early years because their competition for water and nutrients would significantly slow down the growth of the vines. To do this, mulch the grape vine foot (straw, grass clippings, black perforated plastic, ...) or weed manually.
8. We recommend not letting a big harvest on your grape vines the first year, because there is a risk of exhaustion. However, letting a few berries on a cluster to satisfy one’s curiosity, does not matter. The following year, you can have your first harvest. Do not let at all the little vines (under 40 cm) bear in the first year.
9. To provide a good harvest, the grape vines must be pruned. It is a simple operation which is explained on the web.