Article

Urban and Suburban Vineyards

Growing grapes on a farm isn’t easy. Even with tractors, spray rigs and workers to help, sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all the issues that arise during the growing season. Just when we think the frost season is over, the vines burst forth with a growth spurt and we’re behind on shoot positioning. The moment the shoots are positioned we need to start pulling leaves from the fruit zone. Then there’s the challenges of keeping up with fungicide sprays and making sure training, safety and compliance are up to date. Plus, the chance of a piece of equipment failing is always consummate with how important any other problem might be at any given moment. But that’s what growing grapes is like on a farm. Plant grapevines in an urban or suburban environment, and you introduce additional concerns. As usual, the “Backyard Vines” column starts with a semi-grave warning. Abandon all hope of watching daytime sporting events in summer if you have a backyard vineyard to tend. Vineyards don’t whine like a dog that needs to go outside, and you may