Sujata Naphade, a 45-year-old homemaker from Pune has been growing fruits and veggies in her home garden since 2008.
Here are a few tips from her on how to grow organic grapes at home.
All you need is a deep 100-litre drum, moist soil, homemade compost, coconut husks (optional) and some dried leaves.
Step 1 - Layer the drum with coconut husks as the base, followed by leaves and soil. Also, add some compost to the soil.
Step 2 - Fill in the layers to the top of the drum. Plant the grape sapling into the soil by ensuring the roots are settled into the layers.
Step 3 - Cover the topmost layer of the soil with a layer of dried leaves which helps in retaining the soil moisture and improves its fertility.
Tips for caring for the plant:
Tip 1: Provide jeevamrutha, a mixture of cow dung, cow urine, jaggery, gram flour and mud with 10 parts of water once a month.
It will take at least 1.5 years for the sapling to grow 12-15 ft and then it branches out in two opposite directions.
Tip 2: Support the branches with bamboo logs/sticks so the plant gets enough sunlight and water.
Tip 3: Always ensure the plant gets enough sunlight.
Tip 4: Touch the soil to make sure there is moisture and keep adding more dried leaves for the same.
Tip 5: Make a mixture of cow urine with 10 parts of water and add it to the soil and leaves to prevent pest attacks.The flowering stage is followed by the visibility of the fruits and then, it will take around three months for the grapes to ripen.
Tip 6: After harvesting, don’t forget to prune the plant by removing the extra vines and leaves that aren’t flowering. This prepares the plant for its next cycle.