Deep, well-drained soil is ideal. However, grapes are tolerant of shallow soil if there is adequate irrigation. Water regularly. Reduce watering in the winter. Grapes like additional water during growth and fruiting stages. Drip irrigation is a good choice. It helps prevent leaves from getting mildew and fungal diseases, that can be caused by frequent overhead watering.
Provide a support structure such as a trellis, fence, or arbor. Grape vines should be planted at a 45 degree angle towards the support structure of choice. 6-8 foot spacing between plants. Good air circulation is important. Prune when grape plants are dormant. Grapes fruit on the same year's growth.
Most grapes are either American or European. American grapes tend to be more cold hardy than European grapes. They're table grapes that are also used to make juice or jelly. European grapes are a gardener favorite, and are both table and wine varieties.
Typically grapes are categorized as either table or wine grapes, though many varieties can be both. Table grapes are tender-skinned and eaten fresh, or dried into raisins. There are varieties that contain seeds, and ones that are seedless. Wine grapes have a smaller fruit size and have seeds. Their skin is usually tough, and inedible.
Let grapes ripen before harvesting. They do not ripen off the vine.
Vitis vinifera 'Black Mannukah'
Lifespan: Hardy perennial
Origin: West Asia and Iraq
Height/width: 15-20' tall.
Culture: Full sun to part sun. Well-drained soil. Regular water.
Description: Clusters of seedless dark purple/black grapes. Sweet. Ripe in late summer to early fall. Table and wine grape. Eat fresh or dried as raisins. Cocoa colored bark. Green leaves in the summer and autumnal colors in the fall. Ornamental vine. Great as a wall accent, or climbing over an arbor or trellis.
Harvest time: August to September
Vitis vinifera 'Emeryville Pink'
Lifespan: Perennial vine
Origin: CA native
Height/width: 6-8' tall
Culture: Full sun to partial shade. Regular water. Can handle fog.
Description: Medium-sized/large pink grapes with tiny seeds. Full of flavor. High yield. Coastal garden.
Fruiting time: late mid-season