I have grapevines to plant. We are still having frost, so I thought I would just keep them in the house until the frost was over. However, they are starting to get leaves and runners. Can I plant them outside now?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, Betty: Grapes should be planted in early spring so now is the time! The plants will be happier if you can get them outdoors and plant them in their permanent home as soon as possible. They will benefit from the spring rains and temperatures. Getting them in now will help them become established before the hot summer arrives. Some varieties are more cold-hardy than others; if you know which variety you have let me know and I can give you more detailed information. Also, visit www.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/id/id126/id126.htm for more specific information on growing grapes in Kentucky. When planting, choose a space in the garden that receives full sun and has good air circulation. Grapes are quite adaptable to many soil types but will grow best in a nutrient-rich, well-drained soil. Provide your grapes with something sturdy for them to grow on, such as a trellis or even a fence. If you have not had your soil tested, it is always a good idea just so you know if the pH needs to be adjusted or if nutrients should be added. This can be done through your County Cooperative Extension Service. Kentucky has a long history of growing grapes. In fact, Kentucky is home to the first commercial vineyard. Of course, they can be planted as a healthy snack or to make jelly as well. Once grapes are established they will give you many years of harvest.