Welcome your guests with attractive grapevines at your garden’s entrance. You can train grapevines on trellis, walls, and arches. The great thing about grapevines is that you don’t need much space to grow them.
The grapevines need sunlight and drained free soil to grow in southern Britain. However, you can get the better crop in northern regions by cultivating them indoors.
Water the vines in the first year before the drought arrives. Be a little careful when watering the indoor grapes. However, you should water the outdoor ones in prolonged dry weather conditions.
· Remove the flowers within the first two years of planting.
· Ensure there are three bunches on a three-year-old vine and five bunches on a 4-year-old vine.
· Apply 0.5 handfuls of high potash fertiliser in each square metre/yard of the garden.
· Apply organic matter to damp soil to reduce the weeds.
· Avoid using manure as organic matter.
· Place gravel or stones to 2-3 inches depth before applying the mulch.
Moisten the floor and ventilate the conservatory or glasshouse during summer and spring. Avoid doing so when the plants are flowering, or fruits are ripening.
· Shake the branches gently to boost pollination.
· Water the plants regularly when they’re growing.
· Apply high potash fertiliser in the growing season.
· Thin out bunches with the help of scissors, improving air circulation and fruit ripening. On the contrary, there is no need to thin out the outdoor vines.
· Keep monitoring the vines to identify any disease quickly.
· Provide the seeds with a period of dormancy by not heating the greenhouse and ventilating even in cold and dry weather.
· Expose the branches to sunlight in September by removing the leaves.
· Improve the air circulation.
Pruning and training
The right time to prune the vines is in early winter. And spring and summer is the perfect time for training the new shoots and thinning the fruits.
Firstly, you need to install a supporting system to train the vines. Here are instructions to install the supporting system.
- Ensure that wires are 10-12 inches apart when training grapevines against the wall.
- Drive 6½ft stakes 2 ft into the ground at a 10-12 ft distance while training the grapes in open ground. In this technique, the wires should be 12 inches apart.
Secondly, you should prune the vines in early winter. However, removing new shoots, thinning out the fruits, and training should occur in summer or spring.
Grapes are available in two different forms – wine and dessert.
Planting desert grapes
Here are some tips for planting the dessert ones:
- Grow them in the greenhouse because they ripen in there correctly.
- Put the plants that are grown in the conservatory and planted in a container outdoors during winter.
You can also train the stems and trunk inside to plant the grapes. Such vines don’t need much water. Moreover, it’s not hard to manage and feed vines grown in this way. Early spring and 61°F temperature is the best time to plant the grapes.
Planting wine vines
Wine grapes need sunny, warm, and sheltered sites to grow well. Besides, the soil on the planting site of the vines should be drained free. A south-facing slope is best to plant the vines.
- Always choose a cultivar that suits your garden’s soil and climate best.
- Prevent the young shoots from frost damage.
How should you buy and plant the grapes?
Here are the tips for buying good grape plants:
- Never buy pot-bound plants.
- Make sure the foliage is healthy and green when purchasing the plants in summer.
When it comes to planting the vines, March and October are the right months to plant them.
Here are the main basic steps that you should carefully follow when planting the grapes:
- Dig the soil.
- Choose weed-free ground.
- Apply fertiliser or compost to enrich borders and break up any compaction.
- Ensure that fences and walls against which you want to plant vines are 4 ft apart and have a distance of 9 inches from the wall.
- Ensure that there is a distance of 4-5 feet between vines planted in the open.
- Ensure that there is a distance of 5-6 ft between the vines planted in rows.
The harvesting time of grapes varies from late summer to late autumn based on the weather conditions and cultivar.
Softness and sugary taste is the indication to pick the grapes. Besides, the skin of white grapes become thinner and changes into translucent yellow on ripening. However, tasting the grapes is the best way to know if they are ripe or not. It’s more fun too!
While harvesting the grapes, pick the whole bunch with the attached stalk. After harvesting, eat the grapes immediately. You can also store the grapes in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Glasshouse red spider or two-spotted mite
Mites mainly affect the leaves. The symptoms of mites’ infection are:
- Pale and mottled leaves.
- Web covering on the leaves.
- Premature leave falling.
- Mist the plants regularly.
- Control the mites biologically in the greenhouse.
These white insects cover the leaf joints and also appear under the loose bark. They feed on the sap and discharge honeydew on them. Ultimately, black sooty mould appears on their leaves.
- Encourage ladybirds.
- Control them biologically.
Leaves become stunted and shrink as white powdery deposit forms on the leaf surface.
- Grow the plant in colder conditions.
- Keep the soil moist.
Grey mould is fuzzy and grey fungal growth. It starts with discoloured patches. It mainly occurs in humid or damp conditions. The damaged parts of the plants are responsible for the entry of spores into plants.
Mould is also dangerous for ripening fruits, such as strawberries. The black spores of the mould stay throughout the winter.
- Remove the damaged parts of the plant as soon as possible.
- Clear all the debris infected with the mould.
- Reduce humidity in greenhouses. You can do so by avoiding the overcrowding of seedlings and young plants. Moreover, ventilation of greenhouses for humidity reduction is also an excellent option to take the mould away from your plants.
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