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Grape vines

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Can I grow a grapevine (already purchased) in a container? It would be on a south facing wall in full sun.



I would not grow in a container but --- The key is to spend some time on soil preparation before planting. The soil should be dug as far down as you can get incorporation lots of well rotted farm yard manure, its important that it should be well rotted because fresh manure will burn the vines roots. Another good source of organic matter is lead compost created from oak, ash and lime trees; beech leaves are best avoided, as they tend to be a little too acid for vines.

Most vines are supplied in pots. The same planting rules apply to vines as well as other pot grown plant, but with vines it is important that you -

Make sure the root ball is not to root bound or has been grown in a small pot for to long so that the roots have started to spiral in the base of the pot.
The planting depth should be just below the original compost surface in the pot so the root ball is just covered with soil.
Ideally the vine should be planted so that the roots are always kept cool and the head should be grown into the sun or towards a sunny spot on a wall or trellis etc. To keep the roots cool you can place large stones or rocks around the base to help shield the soil from direct sunlight.

In the first two years you should concentrate on forming a framework within the vine plant. This involves training the side branches and tying them to wires or trellis supports. The key points in this operation are not to tie the vine too firmly as the branches will expand over the next two years and the ties might constrain the branch to much and cause some damage. Secondary by training the side branched horizontally this will help encourage fruit production later. During the first two-year we recommend feeding with a liquid feed one a month through the summer to help create the frame work that will later support the grapes.

The vine will produce fruit in the first two years; this fruit is best left on the vine but thinned by removing 2/3rds of the grapes that have formed within each bunch.

Finally in the third year you can plan to produce some usable fruits. At the start of the year mulch with some well rotted farmyard manure around the base. You should no longer be feeding with liquid feed during the summer. The grapes will form again on the fruiting spurs and should be thinned in each bunch this time by one 1/3. They will develop over the summer then in late July you should remove some of the vines foliage around the grapes to allow the more sunlight to ripen the bunches.

At the end of the year you should tie in the new shoots cutting then back by 25% to encourage the formation of new fruiting spurs the following year. Finally tar washing with jeyes fluid in the winter has the advantage of killing all the pests that are over wintering in the stems and buds. This is carried out by mixing 1 part jeyes fluid to 30 parts water and spraying it on to the vine until it runs off soaking the stems and branches

17 Jul, 2008


cor, what a comprehensive answer! Well, all I know is that I have a grape vine in a pot because I never got around to planting it, & 2 in the ground. The 2 in the ground are growing madly this year, took about 2 seasons to really get going. The one in the pot looks healthy, but doesn't put out long shoots. I think they're best in the ground.

17 Jul, 2008


blimey I think you have got all the information needed. Just thought I would say that I have a vine in a large barrel growing up my back wall in full sun and it seems to be thriving, it has a mass of grapes forming which I have thinned out. I will let you know what happens.

17 Jul, 2008


Time to come clean, Ken ...... you must have a passion for growing vines, do you have tips for making wine too ? Have you had experience with a British vineyard? I do hope you can be persuaded to write a blog about vine - growing. I remember my grandfather had a well established one on the garage wall in his greenhouse back in the late fifties, I recall marvelling at how the fruit swelled and changed colour and felt very privileged to be given the first, best grape to eat.

19 Jul, 2008


Cor blimey Ken! Your answer doesn't necessarily show a great knowledge of growing vines. What it does appear to show is that you can cut and paste from an article that appears at You might at least have fixed the numerous spelling and grammatical errors that appear in the article. A much better answer can be found on the Royal Horticultural website

3 Jun, 2012

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