Growing Grapes in Tropical Singapore
"Can grow grapes in Singapore meh? Sure bo?" you may ask. The answer is yes! With patience and a few special techniques, it is possible for temperate fruits like grapes to defy our hot tropical climate. Can you imagine bunches of juicy fresh grapes dangling along your corridor? It will certainly amaze your guests, friends and families! Let's first look into the general requirements of grapes followed by the special techniques to make them fruit and thrive here.
SOIL - Grapes thrive in soil with good drainage. Therefore, ensure that your soil is slightly rocky or sandy as waterlogged roots are not beneficial for healthy grape plants.
WATER - If planted in pots, water content in the soil is extremely crucial. Always ensure soil is moist but at the same time keep it well draining. SUPPORT - Grape plants are climbers and thus a trellis or some form of support has to be there for the vines to climb on. Unless you're planting them against a fence like structure, you'll have to build one yourself. It is pretty simple to construct one! Here are some ideas including those that can be constructed in small spaces like along a HDB corridor.
PRUNING - As your plant mature over the years, it is good to prune the vines. Snip off excess vines and thin the leaves. This is especially important when you want your grape plant to fruit, a deep pruning of the grape's leaves and vines can help promote fruiting.
PEST CONTROL - Argh pest.. We all hate them so much but thank god; grapes are pretty hardy and resistant to pests! A possible pest would probably be powdery mildew and thus ensure good airflow among their grape vines to prevent them from coming. Thinning leaves frequently can be very helpful in increasing airflow among the vines.
Growing Grapevines in Singapore
Now, the cream of the crop of this article! So what exactly are the special techniques in making grapes fruit and thrive in our hot tropical climate? Here are some tips according to our experience as well as several other Singaporeans who were successful in making their grapes fruit.
Your grapes will be more thirsty in our weather! Give it lots and lots of water. You can even water your grape plants with cold water or with ice cubes/blocks on the soil (which is what we did). Prune the leaves and vines deeply as your plant mature over the years to promote fruiting.
Most importantly, be patient! Grapes are long term plants and they won't fruit overnight the moment you bring them home. You'll definitely be overwhelmed with satisfaction when they fruit!