The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Starting grapes from hardwood cuttings

How to make a hardwood grape cutting.

It's that time again --- time to expand your vineyard.  Don't have much cash?  Don't worry.  It's free.

Grapes are perhaps the easiest and cheapest fruit (after strawberries) to propagate.  First,
Six month old grape plant.find someone in your area who grows grapes and offer to help them prune in exchange for taking some of the prunings home.  Trim the prunings into pencil-thick sections with four buds apiece, cutting each one just below the lowest bud (see above.)

Next, soak the cuttings for three days --- this step is very important and will at least double your success rate.  Finally, push each cutting into the ground so that two of the buds are submerged, making sure the buds are all pointing up.

Weed and water just as you would the rest of your garden all summer, then in the fall dig up your new grape plants and put them in your vineyard.  The photo to the right is a seven month old plant I started from a hardwood cutting --- granted, it was the biggest of the batch, but they all looked pretty darn good!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Very interesting information to keep the hardwood for three days in Water in orden to get rooting grapes
Comment by Ciro Tue Aug 2 12:34:49 2011
Soaking the cuttings does help a lot since they won't have any roots to soak up water for quite a while. This way, the cuttings go in the ground as wet as possible and are more likely to survive until they do get around to growing roots.
Comment by anna Tue Aug 2 15:18:30 2011
Is the dig up and move process necessary? Any reason why I couldn't just plant the stick where I want the grape to grow?
Comment by kelly Mon Oct 24 14:13:35 2011
You could definitely start your cuttings where you want them to eventually grow, but there are a few problems with that method. No matter how careful you are, you aren't likely to get 100% success, so you'll have gaps that you'll have to fill in later. Also, it's a lot easier to make sure one small garden bed is mulched and watered than a long row of grapes-to-be. If you're a more careful person than me, though, you could get away with not moving the cuttings.
Comment by anna Mon Oct 24 14:55:57 2011
Can you do blueberries in the same way? I'm looking to expand my blueberry garden and this looks like an easy way to do it.
Comment by houligan19 Sat May 19 15:32:05 2012
houligan19 --- Some perennials work better when started with hardwood cuttings than others, and blueberries are at the harder end. I like to do a google search for "blueberry propagation" (or whatever type of perennial I'm trying to propagate) to see what people have had success with when trying a new species. I think that most commercial operations do softwood cuttings for blueberries (which means taking the cuttings when the leaves are out and necessitates a mist system or some other way of keeping the soil extremely moist). I only tried it once, and failed, but I'm sure it can be done if you want to put some time into researching it!
Comment by anna Sat May 19 19:14:39 2012
My blueberries sucker. I just then transplant!!
Comment by c. Thu Jul 26 00:03:28 2012
Do you raise rabbiteye blueberries or northern highbush? I've read the former are much more prone to suckering and doing well when you transplant the suckers --- we've got some and will probably try some propagation with them eventually.
Comment by anna Thu Jul 26 10:12:24 2012

I have a front yard garden. To attempt to shield from view most of my mess I've planted a variety of blueberries along the front corner where the pine tree used to be :D.

I'll have to check, most of what I put in was northern, but now I'm running to find my tags. Not all of them are suckering... About 2 of the 6 varieties I have are and I'm moving those down the line and amending the soil like crazy in hopes they'll take. Pine needles being the "amendment" of choice for my budget and goals.

Comment by c. Thu Jul 26 10:46:43 2012
Sounds like a great border! I'll be curious to hear (if you find the tags) which varieties have been suckering for you and which ones haven't.
Comment by anna Thu Jul 26 15:54:00 2012
Will blueberries do OK in shade or partial shade?
Comment by esther volkan Wed Mar 5 19:30:31 2014
Esther --- With nearly all fruiting plants, you'll get more fruits in full sun. That said, I do have my blueberries in partial shade and they seem to bear pretty well for us.
Comment by anna Thu Mar 6 19:47:19 2014

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