What you will need to start
To grow grapes in containers, pick an expansive and tough container that can bolster this vivacious vine. A 15-20 gallon pot that is no less than 16-18 inches deep and 18-24 inches wide is adequate. However, start with a smaller pot and after that repot the plant in a bigger one.
The best alternative is to go to a garden center and request an assortment that can grow well in pots and in your climate. Picking an assortment that is resistant to diseases and can grow well in your zone is most essential. Nonetheless, you can grow any assortment in a container yet growing a dwarf grape cultivar like “pixie” can spare you from the bother of preparing a grape vine in a pot.
The best time to plant grapevine is spring or early summer, planting on this time encourages the plant to grow all season without the exposure to frost. In any case, if you live in an frost free hot tropical atmosphere the best time for planting grape vine is in the winter.
How to start
Pick an area that is bright, warm and dry. If your spot gets shade in an evening the plant will still do well, however no less than 6 hours of sunlight is required. Abstain from keeping the plant in wet, shady and less windy spot with less or no air circulation, since it advances fungal diseases and grapevine requires good air circulation around it.
Support and training
Grapevine needs training and support to grow. When you grow grapes in a container, it is best to select a tall lightweight trellis, wood or plastic. A grape vine becomes long and needs help, it will be great if you have an arbor or pergola like structure. Other than that, there are numerous different procedures to prepare the grape vine.
Prepare the vine on a stake or something like a fan trellis. You can likewise support the vine on a stake with the assistance of “Umbrella Kniffen Training Method”. Developing grapes in pots by the standard vine training technique on a general trellis is very simple.
Soil and water
Try not to utilize overwhelming garden soil. Rather, utilize a light potting mix that is free, rich in organic matter and above all drains well. Water frequently and profoundly to keep the soil a bit wet however be careful not to overwater. Saturated, soggy soil can be inconvenient to the plant.
Fertilization – Side dress the plant occasionally with matured excrement or fertilizer. In the first year, you can fertilize the plant with a general purpose fertilizer in spring and summer. From the following year, begin to prepare the plant with the fertilizer that is low in nitrogen yet high in potassium and phosphorus from the spring when bloom buds show up.
How to care for the grapevines in containers
Mulching – You can mulch in the pot with pine bark, compost or with pebbles to prevent excessive water evaporation from the soil and to protect roots from temperature fluctuations.
Overwintering – In climates with harsh winters, you have to protect the plant. For this, you’ll need to remove the dormant grapevine from its support and start to keep it indoors in warm space. Also, reduce watering and avoid the application of any fertilizer during this period.
Pollination – When growing grapes in containers you must know most grape varieties are self-fertile and produce fruits on their own. However, shaking the plant gently at the time of flowering results in better yield.
Pruning – During the first few months after planting until the end of the growing season, do not prune the plant and allow it to grow freely to let the plant establish well in a pot and allow it to develop a strong root system. Grapevine woods that are more than two years old do not produce fruits so you’ll have to remove all the old branches.
Prune the growth in late winter to early spring during the dormancy so that only two buds will remain. Buds are little protrusions on the trunk. This heavy pruning may seem too much to do but in the spring and summer, each of these buds will grow into a new branch.
Dedicate the first year for training the vine to follow your trellis or stack with pruning and tying. Due to the limited space of the container, try to keep only 1 or 2 branches growing from the main trunk. Also, prune away any runners that creep away from the trellis.
The most important pruning will be one that you will perform in late winter when the plant shed its leaves, it is the one on which the fruiting depends. You will need to do the summer pruning too. Though it should have to be light and unobtrusive, just pinching and pruning.
Diseases and Pests
In diseases, fungal diseases like black spot and powdery mildew, especially in dry and warm weather are possible. In pests, keep an eye on common garden insects like aphids. Japanese beetles, moths, caterpillars can also be a problem.