Although they have a reputation for being difficult, grapes actually require only sun, warmth, drainage and protection to grow into a thriving vineyard. In Perth, Australia, where warmth is readily available, satisfy the needs for water and staking, and you'll be growing your own grapes in no time.
Things You'll Need
- Quick-draining soil
- Stakes/trellis system
Choose a site with full sun, good drainage and protection from wind and cold temperatures. Choose a south-facing slope if possible.
Plant grapes in spring, after the last frost, for establishment for the summer growing season. In the warm environment of Perth, plant in October or November. Amend the soil for ideal grape growing, when drainage is essential. Turn a mixture of half compost and half gravel into the top 6 inches of soil to build the right foundation before you plant.
Plan plenty of space for your grapevines. Plant grapevines 5 to 8 feet apart, in rows separated by 8 to 12 feet. Dig two sets of holes at this spacing: one set for the grapevines and the other for a stake or trellis system. Dig holes that are deep enough for the rootballs of the grapevines, and twice as wide. Dig stake holes directly behind the grapevine holes, with depths determined by your staking system.
Plant the grapevines and cover the roots with your loose soil mixture. Water each grapevine with 1 to 2 inches of water. Put the stakes in place, one per grapevine. Although new grapevines are too short to use the stakes, you'll need to tie them up to the stakes when they get old enough, to protect them and give them air circulation for growing.
Mulch grapevines with organic mulch to conserve soil moisture and protect the grapes from weeds and pests. Use 1 to 2 inches of much around the bases of the grapevines during summer.
Water the grapevines once a week to keep the soil consistently moist. Never water until the soil is muddy, as mud will damage your grapes.