The grapevine is one of the perennials whose annual life cycle is similar to other plants. Grapes are also deciduous plants.
If you are planning to plant grapevines, consider planting them between the month of March to May as that’s the best time to plant grapevines. Grapevines start with the dormancy stage of growth as the beginning of the next cycle.
To get the best quality of grapevines both for the present season and subsequent ones, kindly read this article as we explain in detail the various grape vine growing stages you should know.
Let’s get started!
What are Grapevines?
Grapevine (Vitis) is a genus of 79 different species of vining plants. It belongs to the flowering plant family Vitaceae and is made up of species mainly found in the Northern Hemisphere. Grapevine is the primary source of grapes, which is used to produce wine and eaten as a fruit.
According to Frontiers:
Grapevine (Vitis vinifera) is the most economically important fruit crop in the world.
The majority of the cultivated varieties of grapevine are wind-pollinated with hermaphroditic flowers that consists of both male and female reproductive structures, while the wild species are diecious. The flowers are categorized in bunches known as inflorescences.
In some species of grapevine, such as Vitis vinifera, every successfully pollinated flower turns into a grape berry with the inflorescence becoming a cluster of grapes.
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Different Grape Vine Growing Stages
Below, we will look at the different growth stages of grapevine!
1. The Weeping Stage
The weeping stage is the first growth stage of the grapevine. If you observed that in your vineyard, just know that your grapevine is ready to grow.
Following the increase in temperature, the starch stored during the dormancy stage converts to sugar.
This sugar turns to sap and begins to move through the vine. This sap “bleeds” or “weeps” through any available pruning wounds.
2. The Bud Breaking Stage
Once “bleeding” sets in, buds begin to form on the vine. These buds get swollen and burst as the weather or temperature increases.
As the buds break, there is the observance of the emergence of shoots which grows rapidly.
Those shoots keep growing for weeks and afterward followed by the appearance of cluster inflorescence.
3. The Flowering Stage
The next stage after a few weeks of bud break is the flowering stage.
This is characterized by swelling and bursting of the inflorescence to form flowers. The flowering stage can last a few days or a month depending on the available conditions.
- Dry and warm weather will result in a day to two days duration of the flowering stage.
- Cool and wet weather will lead to a whole month.
4. The Pollination Stage
Grapevines are self-pollinating. So you don’t need to bother with the work needed to transfer pollen grains to the stigma for fertilization.
Once pollination is done, the next is fertilization and fruiting.
5. Fruit Formation
After pollination, the flowers fall out, then new berries are formed. These new berries grow rapidly with the aid of cell division.
Once the berries are fully developed, cell division stops; however, any further growth of the berries is hinged on cell expansion.
Moreover, the leaves around the shoot also expand and if exposed to enough sunlight ensure better fruit buds in the next season.
It is also worthy of note that during this stage, the vine doesn’t depend on the earlier stored starch rather it depends on itself and then stores against the next season.
6. Veraison And Maturity
The elongated berries at this stage begin softening and gathering sugar.
That is, there is a massive increase in its flavor and some pigments while there is a decrease in the organic acids.
Also, lignification takes place. Lignification is the process by which the green bark of shoots changes to brown from the lower region and thereafter, becomes Woody.
To ensure that the growth of the shoots doesn’t stop, always make sure that the plants are in good condition with water, sunlight, and fertilizer.
Do not forget to prune the grape clusters to ensure a bountiful harvest.
Knowing when to harvest your grapevine depends largely on the variety, and even its level of acidity.
However, the grapevine is supposed to be ready for harvest after 100 days of flowering.
After harvest, the plant begins a new cycle.
8. Dormancy Stage
Just like the name suggests, here growth is dormant though may occur. This is characterized by the fall of the leaves to the beginning of the next season which is usually Spring.
Also, the grapes are usually filled with woody tissues at this stage.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How fast does a grapevine grow?
It depends on the variety, however, grapevines take between 3-4 years to reach full production.
What is the life cycle of a grapevine?
Grapevine is one of the perennial plants with an annual life cycle that begins around spring and summer, ceases during winter and Autumn, and begins another cycle the next spring season.
How long does it take for grape vines to start fruiting?
Grapevine can take about 2-3 years to start producing grape vines just like the one in your backyard. Moreover, making the environment favorable for its growth, including ensuring proper pruning of the plants and adequate supply of sunlight and water.
Why should I prune my grapes?
If you want to encourage high-quality fruiting and bountiful harvest then you should not do away with pruning. Make sure you cut the woody shoots. It is advisable to prune grapes during their dormant stage.
What soil is the best for growing grapes?
Sandy loam soil is good for grapevines, however, it should have a minimum PH of 5.5 and maximum of 6.6.
Grape vines are good deciduous and perennial plants. To make the best out of them in your vineyards, you need to have the knowledge of the different grapevine growing stages.
Weeping, bud break, flowering, pollination, fruiting, veraison, maturity, harvest and dormancy are the different growth stages of grapevine.
Go through them again and get the best out of your garden.
This we have explained in details above.