Did You Know That You Can Have Your Own Vineyard At Home? Here Are 5 Tips For Growing Grapes
We didn’t think it was possible at first, but Gapuz Grape Farm in Bauang, La Union has proven that grapes do grow in the tropics! Our tropical terrain and climate may not yield the same type of grapes used to produce fine world-class wine, but they are able to bear grapes suitable enough for table consumption. It's also possible to propagate your own homegrown grape bunches if you have the proper amount of space and elevation.
Gapuz Grape Farm provides grape cuttings of the Red Cardinal variety, rooted or unrooted, should you be interested to start a scenic vineyard.
Farm founder Danny Gapuz shared some real simple grape gardening tips whether you're a city-slicker or a suburbanite looking to level up your backyard. These basic principles and methods can come in handy when it comes to rearing grape seedlings at home:
1. Grapes enjoy elevated terrain.
According to Danny, grapes prefer higher elevation to grow on. “It’s okay if it gets flooded on elevated terrain when the rains come but what’s important is the water slowly and gradually descends below,” Danny shares.
How to Find Gapuz Grapes Farm La Union ?? ??Grapes Capital Brgy Urayong Marker ??ARC of BAUANG & CABA ??Across RL DUMO Construction From Manila to Ilocos National Hi-Way 1?? Turn LEFT at the ACACIA TREE?? ?? Before Arco of Bauang Caba boundary. Do Not Pass the ARCO. | R.L DUMO Construction On the Right Grapes Capital Urayong On the Right 2??Keep going straight ahead about ?? Meters West. You will see Farm #2. 3??After you see Farm #2. Turn RIGHT. ?? meters pass the houses and the Brgy Waiting Shed along Old PNR. You will see Farm #1 with spacious parking lot. Park Anywhere walk to the Porch and Reception Area. ???? Waze Google Maps - GAPUZ GRAPES FARM ??
2. Grape seedlings from planted cuttings need about 2 square meters of plot space per vine to grow from.
This is also possible if you plan to grow grapes on a roofdeck or rooftop setting. Three stacked automobile tires filled with earth are needed to create the proper depth for a rooftop seedling to germinate from and the vines need about six feet of vertical room.
3. Suspend number 16 (thickness) wires across at about 6 feet in height from the ground for the vines to eventually latch and creep onto.
Grapevines need something to hold onto once they grow. So, much like having parallel laundry lines strewn across, suspended wire can do the trick.
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4. Water grapes twice a week but more generously in the summer.
Danny points out that when it comes to watering during the not-so-hot non-rainy months, twice a week is enough. It’s a different case once the heat is on. “You can see when the grapevine is swollen and you need to water it. In the summer, do it more than twice a week. You can water it much more often," he shares.
He adds, "During the rainy months, what matters is the medicine you have on-hand for the grapes because at this time they’re prone to disease.” Pruning also takes place 120 days after the harvest seasons. Grapes yield a harvest about three times a year.
5. For fertilizer or additional nutrients for planting, Gapuz Grape Farm uses similar kinds that work for rice crops as well.
“Yung fertilizer na 'Uria,' mga triple 14. But before, we were given vermicompost by the Secretary of Tourism which was good. Chicken manure is nice and effective as well," Danny shares.
Gapuz Grape Farm has also trained professional grape technicians to teach and guide those interested to grow grapes at home. To contact the Gapuz Grape Farm's technical team for help or guidance, you may message them via their Instagram account @gapuzgrapesfarm or here through their Facebook page.
Photography by the author and from @gapuzgrapesfarm / Lead photo from Unsplash