Planting grape vines
Grape vines can be grown in practically any soil, with the exception of heavy clay or water logged ground. They prefer alkaline soil rather than acid therefore if you can grow rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias etc with ease, you should add ground limestone to the area you intend to plant.
Most grape vines that you can buy will have been grafted onto a strong root stock, this is to increase the growth and health of the vine and stops the spread of disease.
• For outdoor vines choose the sunniest part of the garden, so a south facing aspect is ideal…generally the sunnier the spot you choose the sweeter the grape.
• Dig a hole to the same depth that the vine was planted to previously (usually you can see a mark where the soil used to come up to on the stem).
• At the bottom of the hole make a small mound in the centre.
• For best results add two scoops of Rootgrow mycorrhizal fungi to the bottom of the hole so that the roots are able to come into direct contact with the fungi. If growing grapes for wine, no fertiliser is required although you can add slow releasing Bonemeal to establish the roots. For Dessert Grapes, plant with Vitex Q4 fertiliser, bonemeal and Rootgrow.
• Spread the roots over the mound, backfill the hole and water well. Once watered add a mulch to help retain the moisture and suppress weeds.
• During the first summer it is advisable to feed with a high potash feed such as sulphate of potash or even a liquid tomato food such as Tomorite.