Grapes are the fruit of the vine, a whole genus of plants in the Vitaceae family with about 60 accepted species. The most important of them is Vitis vinifera , native to Asia and currently widespread in a large number of geographical areas, although it is especially successful in the Mediterranean. It is a fruit of great importance for man, and there is evidence that humans have been cultivating vineyards and producing wine with them since the Neolithic Age.
If you want to learn how to germinate grape seeds and take care of them at home , join us in this article.
How to germinate grape seeds step by step
To learn how to germinate grape seeds , follow these steps carefully:
- Choose the variety of grape you want to grow. Take into account whether you want to grow your vine to make jam, make wine or simply prepare a shady area, as well as the climate conditions of the area where you live.
- Once you’ve chosen the variety, get the seeds. The safest thing tends to be to buy them from a nursery, but also to extract them from grapes that you can buy.
- Put the seeds in water before doing anything else. If any float, get rid of it, as it will not germinate. Check that the others are firm to the touch when you press them with your fingers a little.
- Get some distilled water and soak the seeds in it for up to 24 hours. It is important that before this, you have washed them thoroughly to remove any remaining organic matter from them.
- To stratify the seeds , prepare an airtight bag with damp kitchen towels or, if possible, peat moss. Put the seeds in the prepared bed, and keep the bag closed in the refrigerator, between 1 and 3 ºC. The best time to do this is in winter, so that after 2 months of stratification, it is a good time to plant them. Throughout this time, renew the humidity of the bed when it becomes too dry, and open the bag from time to time so that they breathe and you can check that the seeds are not attacked by fungi.
- After this time, you can remove the seeds in early spring and plant them in small pots prepared with suitable substrate rich in nutrients. Try to put the pots at a point where the temperature remains constant around 20 ºC, and water them when you notice that the top layer of the substrate dries, spraying water gently. In 2 to 8 weeks your seeds should germinate.
How to plant the grape plant
When your vine or vine seedling is about 8 cm tall , it is ready to be transplanted into a larger pot, but you still need to keep it indoors. Only when it reaches 30 cm in height and has at least 5 leaves should you take it out to its final location.
When you go to place the vine in its final location , make sure that the soil has good drainage and a suitable pH, which varies according to the type of grape. Two weeks after planting, compost the soil around the plants.
Caring for the grape, vine or vine plant
These are the care of the grape or vine plant . So if you want to know the care of a vine to obtain grapes, take note of these tips:
Light for the vine
The vine needs between 7 and 8 hours of sunlight a day, with direct incidence. Unless you live in an area with exceptionally strong sun, plant it where the incidence of light is highest.
Irrigation and drainage of the vine
It is vital that the soil has good drainage, since this plant does not handle excess moisture well. If you water it too much or it puddles due to excessive rain and poor drainage, it is very likely that you will have problems maintaining the health of your vine.
After the first fertilizer, this must be repeated once a year, in spring. We recommend organic fertilizers such as worm castings.
Base for climbing and pruning the vine
Most vines are climbing plants and therefore need a pergola, trellis or other support to fixate on. Prepare supports for it in the first years of the plant and then guide it through the parts where you prefer it to grow. Similarly, apply proper training pruning.
When to harvest grapes
You probably won’t have your first grape harvest until 3 years after you’ve planted the vine . From the third year, you can already leave some flowers on your vine to see how they behave producing grapes. In the northern hemisphere, the harvest tends to occur at the end of summer, while in the south, it occurs around March.