How Far Apart Should Grapevines Be Planted?

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Grapevines provide privacy and bountiful fruits.
Grapevines provide privacy and bountiful fruits. (Image: grapes image by siloto from Fotolia.com)

While the idea of having a backyard orchard and winery may seem romantic, most gardeners in the United States grow grapes better suited for juice or fresh eating. Only the warmest climates are suitable for wine grapes. All grapes need full sun, warm temperatures and well-drained soil to produce good fruit.

Space Between Plants

When placing the grape plants in rows, you should consider the type of grape you are growing. European cultivars (vitis vinifera) require six to seven feet apart, while vigorous American cultivars (V. labrusca) need seven to eight feet between plants, according to the Oregon State University Extension. Plant grapevines deep enough to spread out the root system but no deeper than they grew at the nursery.

Space Between Rows

Depending on the type of training and trellis system you are using, the spacing between the rows will vary. However, eight to 10 feet between rows is generally recommended, according to the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension.

Considerations

When grapes are planted, gardeners generally prune off all but the strongest cane. These small, young plants grow slowly and may take five or six years to produce a good crop. Resist the temptation to plant them more closely together. They'll quickly spread and may live up to 100 years, given good care and plenty of room to grow.

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