Grape Planting – Insider’s Tips
Believe it or not, grape planting has much to do with the taste, color, and body of your favorite wines. So, if you are planning to produce your own wines, you need to first learn the best processes involved in planting grapevines. And it’s not just about selecting the right variety of grapes suitable in your area. It may be true that winemaking and tasting involves art, but generally speaking, growing grapes is different, as it has a lot of science in it. For instance, you would like your vines to receive sunlight for the most part of the day because they need it to maximize photosynthesis. Ample sunlight allows grapes to produce sufficient amounts of sugar which, in turn, transform into alcohol content necessary for wine fermentation.
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So, just like any other type of agricultural activity, grape planting begins with finding the perfect tract of land on which you will plant the vines. The composition of the soil is very important for growing grapes. For wine making, you need grapes that are small, unlike the ones you eat fresh. That’s because the part that gives the wine its aroma, color and body, is the skin. And smaller grapes have more skin and less juice. To ensure that you will only harvest small grapes, the soil must be deficient in nutrients. Take note, the operative word here is deficient not barren. So if your soil is not even suitable for weeds, you need to buy compost fertilizer to improve the quality of your planting grounds. Also, in relation to location, make sure that your planned plantation is consistently dry…grapes hate too much wetness.
In grape planting, you also have to learn and use a lot of trellises. Grapes need these structures to grow on. When your very first vines have grown, choose the toughest shoot of each vine and tie it to the trellis using a strip of cloth or plastic string. Never use a wire to attach your vines as it can damage the shoots. The strong shoots that you have selected and attached will later develop into the arms of your vines where fruits will grow later on. For the remaining shoots that you have not attached to the trellis, you will need pruning tools to cut them away.
After working hard during the grape planting phase, you will surely come to harvesting the fruits of your labor. But before you pick the fruits, you need to be absolutely sure that the berries have fully ripened. For that, you will need an instrument called a hydrometer which can detect the amount of sugars in the grapes. When a grape has more sugar, you can say that it’s ready for winemaking.