Out of control grape vine!

In April of this year, I noticed some grape vines in the bargain bin at the grocery store. Just out of curiosity, I looked at them, and found one which had two buds which were closed but firm (neither dried out nor rotting), so I gambled $1.95 on it.
The variety is Niagara. It was from one of those mass-market nurseries.
I washed off the 'soil' it came in and let it sit in water overnight. Next day, the buds had opened, and I planted it in the worst possible place, a corner which gets no sun and the soil is building rubble in clay.
My only thought was to have "something" in that corner. I figured if it ever grew to 5 feet tall, it'd get some light (narrow porch has windows on both sides). And if it didn't grow, well, it was only 2 bucks.
It sat for about a week, doing nothing, and I thought I'd wasted my effort digging a hole for it.
Then it took off.
By July 1st, it was up to the windows.
I'd run strings from the sill down to the ground for it to climb, so I put a trellis over the window for its further growth.
Now, each stem goes 5 feet up to the window, 2 feet horizontally across, a foot up, 2 feet across, a foot up, and they're beginning their third pass across.
From what I've read about growing/training grapes, you're to trim it back at planting to only one stem and then hope it reaches a 36-inch high wire the first year.
This has two stems, each about 12 feet long, with no sign of slowing down!
I didn't have a distinct plan in place because I didn't expect it to survive, and I've just been puttering, pinching off side shoots as I tie it to the trellis to train it to go back and forth across the window.
I know I'll never get grapes off it (besides lack of light and lousy soil, the squirrels pass over it on their way to the feeder). I only want something reasonably attractive.
I'm almost afraid to prune off the tips because if it sends out side shoots, the way it's growing, it'll probably engulf the house! :)
I've looked at more than a hundred sites, and I haven't found a thing about how to train grapes to a trellis purely for decoration, and there's nothing, anywhere, about one which is growing like Little Audrey!
At this point, I don't even know what I don't know, so I'm not sure what to ask!
One thing I do need to know -- is it safe to just keep weaving it back and forth across the trellis, or will that leave me with nothing but bare trunks next year?
Any help appreciated!
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On 8/8/13 2:38 AM, Jymesion wrote:

'Niagara' is a general-purpose grape, suitable for eating fresh, juice, and wine. Most grapes do not really care about soil; your "worst possible place" with building rubble and clay is likely okay.
To control the vine during growing season, keep pinching the tips of some branches and tying the others to the trellis.
In the winter, prune severely. After selecting a very few "main" branches, remove the weaker side branches. Trim the remaining side branches to 1 or 2 buds.
I hope your trellis is quite strong. A grape vine with maturing fruit can be very heavy. Instead of a trellis, I have steel-pipe fence posts and wire rope to support my vines. See my <http://www.rossde.com/garden/garden_grapes.html . Note the use of steel rebar to anchor the ends of the wire rope.
If you really do not like where the vine is now growing, cuttings root quite easily. Your plant most likely is a rooted cutting. I'm not really sure as to when or how to take cuttings, but you should be able to research that in a good garden or horticulture book, possibly in a local library. Since 'Niagara' is an American grape (not European), it does not need to be grafted onto root stock.
It takes 2-4 years for a newly planted cutting to give fruit. My three vines are from cuttings done by a neighbor. This year -- about five years after they were planted -- one vine still has not given any fruit. The other two each gave me about 3-4 gallons of grapes.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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On Thu, 08 Aug 2013 10:12:18 -0700, "David E. Ross"

So I should prune off the end of the stems and let them develop branches?
So far, I've been pinching off everything and letting only the main stems grow.

I cheated! I went to Lowe's and picked out the lumber and trellis and various bits and bobs to put it all together, then I looked at the pile. No one thing was very expensive, but it added up to a lot, and it was going to be a semi-major project to put it all together..
Then I saw what would be easy -- a panel of porch railing. It's basically two 4' 2x4s with 1 1/4 x 1 1/14 posts connecting them.
I only had to drill six holes, put it up against the window frame, and drive in lag bolts (turned on it's side, it forms a ladder, and is the exact width so the lag bolts go through the trim and into the wall studs on either side of the window.
The only finicky bit was a board and spindles for the squirrels to easily get around the gutter at the top of the wall.

I never expect to get any grapes off it. I had some grape vines trained against a fence about 30 years ago and lost most of the crop to squirrels. I expect that problem to be much worse when the grapevine is on their path to the feeder.
Thanks for the info!
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On Thursday, August 8, 2013 10:12:18 AM UTC-7, David E. Ross wrote:

"Most grapes do not really care about soil.."
David, can you hear the anguished screams from vintners of France and everywhere else where wine grapes are grown! Can you say "terroir"???
[...snippage...]
HB
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Higgs Boson said:

The vintners may care, but the *grapes* don't!
The wild ones are scrambling all over the neglected parts of the neighbors' yards, despite the fact that we all live on something approximating a fossil sand dune. Every year I have to pull down vines. The only nice thing I can say about these vines is that, unlike the buckthorn, ailanthus, euonymus, white mulberries, Siberian elm, white poplar, multiflora roses, etc, etc. that seed themselves all over the neighborhood, the grapes (and poison ivy) are natives.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI

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On 8/9/13 2:44 AM, Higgs Boson wrote:

Terroir is much more about climate than soil.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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Wine grapes are grown on crummy soil, because nothing else will grow there. Check out the cliffs of the Moselle that disguise themselves of as vineyards. <http://www.pbase.com/bauer/mosel_river Terroir is the set of special characteristics that the geography, geology,climate and, orientation vis-a-vis the sun of a certain place, interacting with the plant's genetics. It ain't just the dirt.
For table grapes it is good to have access to water to swell the size of the grapes. Wine grapes must be water stressed. The more stress, this side of raisons, the better, if you're going to be drinking it.
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No reason to worry about it now. You have to nearly next to devise a system. Keep in mind that every new bud is a potential cane. It's not unusual for a plant to grow tall and lanky, when looking for sunlight.
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wrote:

So far my system has only been to wind the two stems back and forth across the trellis. I'm not sure how that's going to work out.

Slap me upside the head! I should have known that! I don't know why I didn't recognize it. The leaf spacing is about 6" apart up to the window sill, and it's shorter from there on, where they get a lot more light.
And it's all lanky growth, what I've always called water growth -- thin, tall, and soft.
Thanks!
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Jymesion wrote:

There's tons of info about growing grapes on the net, TONS.
At my last house I planted two concord grape vines as a privacy screen, worked out very well and got lots of grapes too, produced the 2nd year... bought from Lowe's end of season sale rack. Vines in early spring, heavily pruned the previous fall:
http://i44.tinypic.com/23robow.jpg
Just budding out... that tree is a dwarf sour cherry, very prolific:
http://i40.tinypic.com/1ooimr.jpg
When fully leafed out coverage is superb, total privacy:
http://i43.tinypic.com/2yxmz9y.jpg
Each growing season grapes must be pruned back to first tiny grape cluster, remove approximately 30% of vine by weight (guesstimate), or vine will use its energy to produce more vine rather than great grapes. Proper pruning is the most important aspect of grape growing, most folks ignore pruning and end up with a slovenly mess of leggy vines and a few measly grapes.
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On Thu, 08 Aug 2013 16:04:34 -0400, Brooklyn1

I've found lots. The problem is that none of it applies to my situation, or at least, I don't see how it applies because mine has to grow tall and narrow and my main need is for dense foliage. A crop of grapes isn't going to happen (too little light, too many squirrels).
I particularly haven't found anything about how to handle it when it's growing so fast.

Looks fantastic! You did a great job on it!
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wrote:

It may be a factor of water supply. I've seen squirrels ignore tomatoes when there's plenty of fresh water and ravage them when there's a drought.
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Prune in spring for "shape". "Tip" in summer where it reaches the size you want to stop forward growth. All the sites for grape production is one main stem/trunk. You can select 2+ main stems sorta heading in the directions you want. Even "trunks" will break buds and send out vines, so dont worry about next year. Evidently you have selected a site that may not look "good" but your grape loves it, maybe cause it gets a lot of water? The best wine grapes in Germany grow in slate, rocky soils, slate is compacted clay.
"Decoration" covers a lot of territory. There is espalier, bushy, jungle, etc. Just keep an eye out of downy mildew or other fungal disease from too little air circulation.
Ingrid

Somewhere between zone 5 and 6 tucked along the shore of Lake Michigan on the council grounds of the Fox, Mascouten, Potawatomi, and Winnebago
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On Fri, 16 Aug 2013 13:02:43 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@wi.rr.com wrote:

Thanks for that info! It's been so long since I grew grapes that I don't remember if they only had buds on the previous year's growth. If the trunks bud, that solves a lot of my concerns.

It get a lot because it's in the middle of brick paving, and everything drains towards it. But the roots won't be sitting in water because there's enough broken brick under it to provide decent drainage.

All I want is a bit of green to break up the drab corner. It's right outside my kitchen window, and looking at the porch wall isn't very exciting.
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Each bud, on last year's wood, will try to set a cluster. Wine grapes usually leave around 24 buds, but the Carpenteria vine in California, that was spread out on an arbor, set 8 tons of fruit in 1892 (IIRC).
--
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You were there in 1892? Billy spews 8 tons of bullshit each day.
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I presume that because you weren't there, the American Revolution never happened, the Magna Carta never signed, and Rome never existed?
You are beyond ignorant Shelly/Brooklyn. An ignorant person could have done a web search, to find the truth, but you weren't interested in the truth. You just had the overwhelming urge to open that alligator mouth of yours, and show the world how stupid and vulgar you truly are.
"Each bud, on last year's wood, will try to set a cluster. Wine grapes usually leave around 24 buds, but the Carpenteria vine in California, that was spread out on an arbor, set 8 tons of fruit in 1892 (IIRC)." - Billy
Here is what we are talking about. <http://www.cardcow.com/210706/largest-grape-vine-world-carpinteria/
8 tons <http://books.google.com/books?id=YKHLu8cQdXUC&pg=PA4&dq rpinteria+Vine &hl=en&sa=X&ei=SRURUsK-OIapyAHcg4Fg&ved FMQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&qrpinter ia%20Vine&flse> One vine in Santa Barbara County covered 12,000 sq. ft. when 65 years old and produced crops of more than 10,000. Another, at Carpinteria, planted in 1842, bore 8 tons in 1893, U.S. Dept. Agric. (1904); its trunk circumference was reported to be nine feet (fig. 1).
Or 10 tons of fruit in 1896 <http://books.google.com/books?id=yQtFAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA130&lpg=PA130&dq rp interia+Vine&source=bl&ots=Sb0e2asisn&sig=vFyNuPbnkyonDEVnz4NP1zjzrbs&hlen&ei=pd39SfXRKY66tAPisLDsAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6#v=one page&qrpinteria%20Vine&flse> Or about 12 tons in 1 year, according to the California State University at Pomona. <http://www.csupomona.edu/~library/specialcollections/wine/photographs.ht ml> "La Vina Grande", the largest grape vine in the world, growing in Carpinteria Valley, about 10 miles south of Santa Barbara, California. It was planted from a cutting of Mission grapes, which were first introduced into California, at San Diego, in 1769, by the Franciscan fathers, headed by Father Junipero Serra. Its massive trunk is 9 feet 7 inches in circumference, its branches cover a space of 10,000 square feet, and it produced about 12 tons of grapes one year. Courtesy of the Wine Institute.
To all who decide to use Shelly/Brooklyn's advice/opinions, to avoid nasty surprises, be sure to get it confirmed from one of the gardeners at rec.gardens, or rec.gardens.edible before you act on it.
Shelly/Brooklyn czn also be very nasty, but don't take it personally. He has a drinking problem which he can't control.
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On 8/16/13 11:02 AM, snipped-for-privacy@wi.rr.com wrote:

Actually, grapes form on spurs or shoots from horizontal scaffold branches. I know this to be true since I got about 3 gallons of grapes from each of two vines this year.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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fruiting vines come off last years wood. but this person didnt indicate they care about the grapes, they just want the greenery. when I grew grapes I preferred the curtain system and always strapped down one horizontal from the previous year to the high crossbar in both directions. we got lots of grapes usually taken by the deer a couple days before they were ripe. pfffft. I finally cut everything down. Ingrid

Somewhere between zone 5 and 6 tucked along the shore of Lake Michigan on the council grounds of the Fox, Mascouten, Potawatomi, and Winnebago
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