Train grapevines as they grow to keep them from taking over your greenhouse or house wall, and to make sure they stay productive and healthy. It’s a little late in the season to be planting a new grapevine now, but if you’ve missed out, make a note to pop into the garden centre here in Poynings and select a vine to plant this autumn. You can choose from dessert or wine varieties, red or white: feel free to ask our knowledgeable staff for advice on the best variety for you.
On younger, recently-planted vines, select strong horizontal branches and train them onto support wires so that they can mature and thicken into the main support stems. These will carry the fruiting sideshoots from next year onwards.
On established plants, pinch back shoots to three or four leaves from the main framework stems. Leave one sideshoot to develop fully every 30-40cm along each rod. Continue to train the strongest growth along the supports, and tie it in every 20-30cm. Make sure there’s plenty of air flow between shoots, as grapevines are prone to mildew if allowed to become overcrowded. Soon you’ll start to see fruits form and you can look forward to your sweet, juicy harvest from late summer onwards.