Whether they're eaten out of hand, juiced, used in recipes, cooked into jelly or fermented into wine, grapes are a delicious fruit. Even if you don't live in the ideal climate for grapes, you can grow thriving grapevines in your garden with a little bit of research and patience. Carefully follow the steps below and to treat yourself and your family to fresh grapes.
- Research the type of grapes that will be the best suited to the climate in your location. Some varieties of grapes will be more suitable than others -- the experts at your local garden center can help you choose. Make sure to note the growth and ripening habits of your variety so that you'll be able to create the most appropriate environment for your harvest [source: Bruce].
- Decide where you want to place the vines. Make sure the plant will be exposed to ample sunlight and heat. Also make sure you provide shelter for the vines from the wind [source: Hoover].
- Check your soil. Grapes thrive in loose, moist soil. Around 12 inches (30.48 centimeters) of loam soil -- a nutrient-rich soil composed of silt, sand and clay -- provides the ideal conditions and drainage for growing grapes. The soil's pH balance should be between 6.0 and 6.5 [source: Mierzejewski].
- Plant the vines in the soil. Place a trellis or piece of fencing close to the vines. Grape vines grow quickly and require the support of something like a trellis to establish strong roots and ensure that the fruit stays off the ground.
- Prune the vines often. The more often you prune, the better your grapes will grow. This is because grapes require a lot of sunlight. If they're shielded by the vine's leaves, they won't grow to their full size [source: Hoover].