GRAPES

What grapes can you grow?
  • Vines grown in the open ground need training wires on posts (rather like cordon fruit trees.) Wires should run in a north-south direction to ensure maximum exposure to sun. Put in 2 posts and put in wires at about 2 foot intervals, starting about 2 feet from the ground. Plant the vines at about 4 foot intervals. For the first and second years, just allow one main stem to grow. During winter, cut the stem down from the tip until you see green wood. During the 2nd year, allow a few more stems. After the 2nd year, select the two strongest stems and bend them down along the bottom wire, tying them firmly down. Cut back to green wood, or 8 buds, whichever is the least. Leave one other shoot in case of failure, but cut back the others. This is called Double Guyot training. The grapes will grow from the 2 stems, and new stems should break at regular intervals.

Wroxeter Roman Vineyard, Spring 2010
Pruning completed.

If you are thinking of growing vines:
  1. Check your soil and local climate.
  2. Decide what you want of your vines.
  3. Check varieties against your growing conditions.
  4. Take advice.
For further information: The UK Vines website covering UK vines includes information about growing vines in Northern England and Wales - the Mercian region.

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