Position – This hardy vine should be planted in full sun (at least 6 hours of sunshine a day) and can handle the heat and cold rather well. So, plant it to grow over a pergola, and you can count on having a shady spot all summer. It will also grow along strong fences and trellises, but it definitely needs some support. Plant vines about 1.8 to 3 metres apart from one another.
Size – The Catawba vine grows fast, so it is particularly rewarding. Its grape bunches are medium in size. A mature plant can grow to a height of about 1.5 to 2 metres with a spread of 2.4 to 3 metres.
Soil Type – It thrives in well-draining soil that is deep, so that its roots can extend far down and take in more nutrients. A slightly acidic pH of 5.0 to 6.5 is best, but this plant is resilient enough to withstand most soil types. The only exceptions are soils that are wet or alkaline.
Mulch – Mulch is a good way of preventing weeds and reducing the rate of water evaporation from the soil. Organic mulch like wood chips, straw or pine needles is ideal.
Watering – When your vine is new, water it gently and gradually twice a week. Thereafter, about 2.5 centimetres of water per week should be ample. Don’t overwater your vine.
Fertilising – Because their roots reach deep into the soil, they tend to take up all the nutrients that the plant needs. No fertiliser should be necessary, unless the soil is particularly lacking in nutrients.
Pruning – Prune your Catawba vine one a year to encourage the plant to produce more grape clusters.
Harvesting – This vine yields sweet, delicious grapes midway through summer. Wait until they are completely ripe (deliciously sweet and crisp) before picking them.
You can remove between 70 to 90 percent of the previous year’s growth each winter.