Today we are open from 09:00 until 17:30

Your independent Plant Centre
for all the Family

Growing grapevines

Grapevines make wonderful climbers to scramble over a wall or clothe a shed in green. In our garden centre you'll find varieties for sweet dessert grapes straight off the vine, and others for making deliciously fruity wine. 

Growing Grapevines: Tips & Tricks

Grapevines are a popular and rewarding addition to any garden, providing both beautiful foliage and delicious fruit. If you're interested in planting, growing, and pruning grapevines in your own garden, here are some tips to get you started.

Planting a grapevine in your garden

A grapevine is a wonderful addition to your outdoor space. It does not only add beautiful foliage to your garden, but also delicious grapes. Here's how you plant a grapevine in your garden:

  1. Choose a sunny location with well-draining soil.
  2. Dig a hole deep and wide enough to accommodate the grapevine's root system.
  3. Add compost or other organic matter to the soil to improve its fertility and drainage.
  4. Place the grapevine in the hole and backfill with soil, making sure the graft union (the area where the scion and rootstock meet) is above the soil level.
  5. Water the grapevine thoroughly and provide support, such as a trellis or stake, for the vine to climb.

How to grow your grapevine

  • Water the grapevine regularly, especially during hot and dry weather.
  • Fertilise the grapevine once or twice a year with a balanced fertiliser.
  • Train the grapevine to climb up the support structure, pruning any shoots that grow below the graft union.
  • Thin the grapevine's fruit clusters to encourage larger, sweeter grapes.
  • Watch for signs of pests and diseases, such as yellowing leaves or powdery mildew, and take action promptly.

Pruning a grapevine: here's how

Grapes are pruned in December, when they're dormant, as they 'bleed' sap if pruned in summer. Leave your vine to grow for a year or two, then choose one shoot to train as the leader and snip back sideshoots to five or six leaves to encourage plenty of fruit.

  1. Prune the grapevine in late winter or early spring, before new growth appears.
  2. Remove any dead, diseased, or damaged wood.
  3. Select 2-4 healthy canes to serve as the grapevine's main branches, removing any other shoots.
  4. Trim these canes back to 2-3 buds, which will produce new shoots and fruit.
  5. Cut back the side shoots that emerge from these main canes to 2-3 buds as well.

In subsequent years, continue to prune the grapevine to maintain its shape and encourage fruit production.

With proper planting, growing, and pruning, your grapevine can provide years of beautiful foliage and delicious fruit. Whether you enjoy the grapes fresh off the vine or turn them into wine or preserves, growing your own grapevine is a rewarding experience.

Problems: powdery mildew covers leaves and fruit with a white, dusty coating and is most common when grapes go short of water. Prevent it by keeping your grape well watered and mulching the ground thickly to lock water into the soil, and look out for resistant varieties like 'Phoenix'.

Please ask the staff in our Poynings, Sussex garden centre for more information and advice about growing grapevines.

View more categories in the category Climbers