When to Plant Grapes and what type


I would like to plant a new Grape Vine in my backyard.  Can you please advise when is the best time to plant a new Grape Vine?  and,

What is the best type of Grape Vine to plant in Toronto?


As you do not indicate your ultimate use for the grapes you intend to grow, here is a brief outline to get you started.

The 9 grape varieties grown for wine production in Ontario are Vidal, Seyval Blanc, Baco Noir, Pinot Gris, Chambourcin, Auxerois, Riesling, Marechal Foch and Chardonnay.

The grape varieties grown in Ontario for table consumption or juice are Concord and Sovereign Coronation (a semi-seedless blue grape).

Late winter/early spring is the ideal time to plant a new grape vine, so as long as the ground is workable, it should be fine – in Toronto, this is usually late March/early April.  Choose a site in your garden that gets lots of sun and where you have the ability to support the vine with a fence or trellis.  Plant the vine 12-14 inches deep, trim back any long or broken roots, and clean away any weeds or grass from around the rootstock.  Once planted, water it in well.  Drip irrigation is an ideal way to maintain moisture to your new plant after the initial watering in.

You do not indicate your exact location or your soil type, but in general, grape vines prefer rocky limestone soil like in the Niagara region, but some varieties are more tolerant than others.  Contacting one of the many nurseries in the Niagara region that supply fruit trees, would be a good method of sourcing the best variety for your particular circumstances.

Also, most varieties are self fertile but benefit from cross pollination so encouraging pollinators into your garden by planting flowers will increase your yield.  Be aware that it can take 3 to 4 years before your vine begins to produce.

Learning how to fertilize, control pests & diseases, and how to prune your vine will be your next challenges.

Good luck.