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Growing Cold Hardy Grapes

Updated on June 21, 2011

Cold Hardy Grapes

Community gardens are great ways to get to know the people who live near you as you grow your own food, herbs and flowers. We have a new community garden here in Campbellton, New Brunswick. It is located on private property and combines yard sharing and community gardening in a model that differs from the usual pattern.

I was visiting Rose’s Landscaping here in town the other day, looking at what was new and when talking with the manager she mentioned grapes. I have often thought about growing grapes but was told the climate was just too cold.

We do have a short growing season. The last frost occurs around June 10 and the first frost of the season may occur as early as August 25th.

I was pleased to find there are cold hardy varieties available that will grow in this short season.

Grapes, once established will grow well as long as they get sunlight, grapes do love the sun. In addition to sunlight, the grapes will need a strong support upon which to grow. It must be sturdy or otherwise it will collapse under the weight of the vines.

In addition to a sunny spot, grapes enjoy a soil that has a pH between 6 and 7.

When planting the grape vines, you proceed much as you do when planting tree seedlings. The first step is to prepare a hole large enough for the root growth already on the vine.

If the seedlings are two to three years old the hole may need to be at least a foot wide. Avoid crowding the roots and do not force them into the hole.

Once the vines are planted, it is time to give them a generous drink of water but be careful not to drown them. As with most plants, the early morning before the day heats up, is the best time to water.

As the season nears the end, pay close attention to frost warnings, you will want to keep your grapes on the vine until almost the last minute. Grapes only ripen on the vine so it is vital to give them the time to do so.

When choosing a grape variety, you need to consider why you are growing grapes, decoration, to make jams, juices and jellies, to eat the fruit or to make wine.

There are varieties Frontenac, for example that are hardy to Zone 4 and can be used to make a fine wine.

If you are new to growing grapes and live in Zone 3 or 4, talk with the manager of your local plant nursery to see what is available or what can be brought in, they should be able to suggest grapes that are suited to where you live.


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  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    Happy Growing and thanks for commenting.

  • rpalulis profile image

    rpalulis 7 years ago from NY

    I too live in a colder and shorter growing season and have been wanting to plants grapes as well. I am inspired to add a small vineyard to my gardens. Thanks

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for dropping by.

  • ainehannah profile image

    Aine O'Connor 7 years ago from Dublin

    Like LG, I just dropped in to read another of your enjoyable hubs, but thought beforehand that this one was about allotment gardening: strips of land you can rent from the local authority here in Ireland and in the UK.

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thank you all for your comments. LG, it can be difficult to get people on board, it has taken sometime here.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

    That was a lovely read. I don't think I will be able to do it, for various reasons, but I enjoyed read it.

  • msorensson profile image

    msorensson 7 years ago

    Yes, we grow those here in Louisiana both for decoration and family consumption.

  • Lady Guinevere profile image

    Debra Allen 7 years ago from West By God

    Just stopping by to see more of your articles. Love them all. I wish we had a community garden, but I can't get anyone to learn how to share where I am. :(