Ever think about how easy it would be to just pluck some healthy fruit in your backyard? Or how great it would be if you could just make your own wine?
Lucky for you, we can teach you how to make a backyard vineyard. It’s not that hard!
Things to Know About a Vineyard
For those who don’t know, a vineyard is a grapevine plantation. A vineyard is mostly for the production of wines. In some cases, it is also for the mass production of table grapes, raisins, and grape juice.
Historians place the earliest wine production to between 6000 and 5000 BC.
The concept of vineyard invokes an image of hectares of land filled with grapevines.
That is the case when you are planning to become a supplier of grapes to supermarkets or wineries.
That good thing is
As long as you have a large enough yard, you could have your own vineyard. Erase the image of lines and lines of vines with sagging grapes.
Build a backyard vineyard that is just right for the size of your open space.
Size of the vineyard
As earlier mentioned, the size of the vineyard will be dependent on the size of your yard.
Just make sure that the vines will get eight hours of sunlight every day. This means that the area of the vineyard shouldn’t have a shade.
If you have trees in the yard, you have to adjust the location of your backyard vineyard.
Sunlight is important to grapes and their growth. The lack of sunlight may result in low harvest and poor quality of grapes.
Here’s an important note
If you want to make wine, even if it’s just for personal use, you would need a larger space.
Let’s look at the barrel as an indicator. A regular barrel has about 60 gallons. In order to make a 60-gallon wine, you need at least 120 vines of grapes.
You would need an area of around 50 foot by 50 foot.
Again, you have to remember that this area should have sunlight for more than eight hours.
This size may seem daunting but you don’t really have to manufacture a whole barrel of wine, do you?
You can just adjust the size of your vineyard based on your available space and your consumption.
For a more convenient vineyard, you should plant the grapes on a flat surface. The vines won’t have a problem growing on a hilly terrain but you will have an issue when it comes to its care.
The pruning and harvesting would be quite difficult.
Generally, the vines can grow on most types of soil save for clay. But in order to harvest the best grapes, a neutral soil would be best.
What is a neutral soil?
This is a soil with a pH of seven. For those uncertain what a pH is, it’s the measure of the acidity of the soil. There is a tool for this that you could just purchase in your local garden store or on Amazon.
What if it doesn’t meet the standard?
If the soil is not pH 7, there are treatments that you can do. You can just ask your local home gardening stores.
Another thing, the area shouldn’t have a lot of stones. This is a generic requirement for any type of plant you want to grow.
Remember I mentioned that grapes need at least eight hours of sunlight? That’s an indication that grapes prefer the hotter climates.
You should be in an area with long summers in order to see grapes thrive beautifully.
If the weather is not cooperative
It’s not the end of your dream of creating your own wine! There are varieties of grapes that thrive in colder regions.
You can ask your local agriculturist for the type of grapes that thrive in the region.
It is said that American varieties are better in colder regions while the European varieties really need warmth.
But the agriculturist in your community knows better what thrives well in the area.
Why You Should Have a Vineyard?
Is it really worth the time and effort to grow your own grapes?
It actually is!
Here are some reasons why you should have a backyard vineyard:
1. Grapes are healthy
There are so many health benefits to eating grapes. Let’s start with the vitamins. This fruit is rich in vitamins C and K.
There is also vitamin B6 in there along with fiber, potassium, and some protein.
Grapes contain antioxidants that can repair damaged cells. That is an important benefit in order to combat chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
The grape’s skin and seeds have the highest concentration of antioxidants.
Grapes are also known to lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol.
They also have low glycemic index, which makes it a good fruit even for diabetics. It can even help in the reduction of blood sugar levels.
2. Who doesn’t want to drink wine?
Wine is a great meal beverage.
It is quite healthy, too, if you don’t drink too much of it. But that’s also because it’s made from a healthy fruit.
Whatever benefits mentioned above, are also similar benefits you get from drinking wine.
But you can simply buy wine at the grocery store.
Think of it this way:
It just feels different when you make your own wine. There is satisfaction involved and you can customize it according to your taste.
Plus, it’s cheaper! After all, you will not be paying for labor and the glass bottle.
It’s also a good gift during special occasions. You give away wine that you made yourself. Isn’t that such a unique and thoughtful gift?
3. Gardening is therapeutic
Ever wonder why there are so many people who garden? Because it’s therapeutic!
There are also a lot of benefits to gardening that would cover your physical and mental health.
Having your own vineyard is gardening. You will have to tend to it every day if you want a healthy plant that bears delicious fruits.
So, how to make a backyard vineyard?
It’s not as hard as it sounds!
How to Make a Backyard Vineyard
We already mentioned that the soil needs to be pH 7, right? So, let’s not include that in our steps in creating the backyard vineyard.
Just remember that if the soil requirement is not met, you can treat the soil to correct that.
Here are the steps to making a backyard vineyard:
1. Find the right spot
As we said, location is very important. The vineyard should have access to sunlight for at least eight hours.
This is important if you want to harvest healthy and delicious grapes.
If you were planning on having a large vineyard but then parts will be shaded by your house structure, for example, or some trees, then you have to modify and make the vineyard smaller instead.
2. Know the right grape to grow
Did you know? There are around 10,000 types of grapes grown around the world.
You’ve surely heard of chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, and merlot, right? Chances are you know these as types of alcoholic beverage.
Well, that’s also right!
But if you know those names as drinks, then you should also know that they were named after the grape variety used in their production.
That is something worth considering when growing grapes.
Are you mainly growing them for wine? Then you can choose any of those three varieties and more.
While grapes used for winemaking are delicious, they have a lot of seeds in them. They are also smaller and have a lot of juice in them.
On the other hand
Table grapes or those grown mainly for food, are larger and a lot of the varieties are also seedless. They are also sweeter.
You need to research the grape variety you prefer to grow to know if this type will thrive in your vineyard, based on the climate of your region.
3. Create the trellis
A trellis is a structure or frame that allows climbing plants to weave through them for stability. They are usually made of wood but bamboo and metal are also popular materials for it.
While the trellis didn’t exist thousands of years ago, it has become an important structure to ensure that the grape plant would spread out and have access to sunlight.
Don’t be intimidated
You don’t have to create an elaborate trellis like the canopy one. It can be simple and it would have the same effect.
If you’re worried that it won’t look nice, that will not be the case anymore when the grapes start growing.
What you need:
- Wooden posts (preferably 2 x 2 in thickness)
- Sturdy steel wire
- Heavy-duty stapler
The number of wooden posts would depend on how large your vineyard will be. As for the height, four-feet wooden stakes would be good enough.
To make them stable enough to handle the growing grapes, bury about two inches of the posts in the ground.
Attach the wires. Use the stapler to attach the wires on top of the posts.
There you go!
It’s quite easy, right? Of course, if you want to create the more complicated backyard trellis, then you are also free to do so.
Simple yet effective
This may be the simplest trellis you can make but it’s truly effective since it’s easy for maintenance purposes. There is a roomy access for you to prune and care for the vines.
Harvesting will be just as easy.
4. Plant the grapes
You need to plant the grapes eight inches deep. That spacing between plants should be between four and eight feet because you want them to have a lot of room to grow.
This is also because you don’t want the grapes to be saturated in a certain area as they need to be spread out and maximize access to sunlight.
5. Train the plants
You need the plants to crawl up the trellis. Training will be involved.
As the plant is growing, you will need some sticks to train their growth toward the trellis. The smaller and weaker parts of the vine can be cut so as not to confuse the grape in terms of its growing direction.
When the vine has reached the wire (granting we are using this simple trellis system) you can help the shoots spiral around the wiring system. You can lightly tie them with strings at the start.
When you see them clinging
You can now remove the string. You don’t want them constricting parts of the vine while is still growing.
You need to water them regularly, of course!
You will also have to prune them every now and then. You might not be very busy during the first year, but you have to be more circumspect when the vineyard becomes too thick.
Just like any garden, pests and diseases might be a problem. Always monitor your backyard vineyard and make sure you solve the problem while it’s still simple.
You don’t want the pest and disease problem to affect the entire vineyard.
How to make a backyard vineyard? There are just five easy steps! It’s not as hard as people imagine it to be.
That’s also because people have been used to thinking that a vineyard involves dozens of hectares of vines in neat rows with thousands of dangling grapes. But if you want to have your own table grapes or you want to make your own wine, you can just have your very own vineyard right in your backyard.
Grape is a great fruit to grow because of its many benefits. It’s quite delicious, too.