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Growing Grapes

Growing Grapes

Frontenac Grapes


 Long-lived, hardy fruiting vines widely grown for making wine, juice, and jelly or eating fresh. Hardy in zones 4 to 8. Both seeded and seedless varieties are available. Vines are self-fruitful and do not need a pollinator. Vigorous climbers, Grapes require a sturdy trellis or other support. Can grow on gazebos or arbors as a fruiting ornamental. Before planting, soak the roots for 2 to 3 hours to hydrate plants. Plant outdoors 4 to 8 weeks before the last frost in spring. Loosen the soil 12 to 18 inches deep and wide enough to fit the roots without bending. Mix compost or other organic matter into loosened soil. Trim off damaged or broken roots, and spread roots out evenly. Plant so that roots are slightly deeper than when grown in the nursery and space plants 8 to 10 feet apart.


Grow in full sun and well-drained soil. Avoid low, wet spots. These climbing vines require a strong trellis or other structure to support them. Annual pruning is needed to keep plants healthy and productive. Vines produce fruit on the current season's growth. In their first year, prune vines to allow just 2 or 3 strong buds to grow. Provide a light fertilization in the first season, and moderate to high fertilization once vines have been established. Ensure good weed control after planting. An organic mulch around plants can help reduce weed problems.

Fertilizer Recommendations

Use Gromax Fertilizer Tablets 20-10-5 (51165) or full rates of Algoflash All-Purpose Liquid Fertilizer 6-6-6 (51085) or Neptune Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer 2-3-1 (51221).

Alternative Products

Other hardy fruiting vines include Hardy Kiwi, Goji Berry / Wolfberry, and Maypop Passionflower Vine (13597).

Complimentary Products

Moderate feeders, vines benefit from annual fertilization. Fertilize with low rates in the first season, increasing to full rates by the third season. Other flowering annual vines like Morning Glories and Hyacinth Bean (05208) can be combined with Grapes on arbors. Bonide Fung-Onil Fungicide (50232) can be used to control both diseases and insect pests.

Product Recommendations

Use Bird-X netting to prevent birds from damaging fruit

Grape Facts

Usually not difficult to grow. Japanese beetle, rose chafer, and grape berry moth can attack plants. Diseases including powdery mildew, downy mildew, and fruit rot can occur. Choosing disease-resistant varieties minimizes problems. Birds will sometimes feed on fruit. Grapes have been grown for at least 6,000 years.



Growing Tips