How to Grow Concord Grapes from Seed

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Grapes grow on a vine supported by a trellis.
Grapes grow on a vine supported by a trellis. (Image: grape vines image by Richard Seeney from Fotolia.com)

Concord grapes are a native American variety and grow true to seed. However, they require cold stratification to germinate successfully. In cold areas with at least three to four months of soil temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, this is accomplished by planting seeds in the fall. In warmer climates, prepare the seeds in the fall for spring planting. Concord grapes are also easily propagated by grafting or by cuttings.

Things You'll Need

  • Vine-ripe concord grapes
  • Refrigerator with freezer
  • Paper towels
  • Diluted fungicide solution
  • Plastic bag
  • Small containers
  • Starter mix
  • Greenhouse or cold frame

Remove seeds from vine-ripened grapes in the fall. Place the seeds in a glass of water and remove any seeds that float. Viable seeds will sink to the bottom of the glass.

Clean the seeds and place them on a towel to dry.

Moisten a paper towel with a diluted fungicide solution to prevent mold. Place the seeds on the paper towel and fold the towel over the seeds. Place the bundle in a plastic bag in the freezer.

Move the seeds to the refrigerator in December or January, three months before the planned planting date.

Plant the seeds in small containers of starter mix in the spring, at least three months after moving to the refrigerator. Poke a hole in the starter mix approximately 3/4 inch deep. Drop in one or two seeds per container and cover with soil. Water immediately.

Keep the pots protected in the greenhouse or cold frame until all danger of frost has passed. Keep the soil moist until the seeds sprout, then water whenever the soil dries.

Transplant the vines outdoors in the early summer once the soil has warmed. Choose a location with good drainage and rich soil. Dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball. Carefully remove the plant from the container and place in the hole at the same level it grew in the container. Back fill with soil, leaving a shallow trench around the outside of the root ball. Place the young vines approximately 8 feet apart along a trellis for support.

Water deeply by filling the trench and allowing it to soak in. Soaking the soil at least once a week during dry weather.

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