Growing Guide: How to plant and care for Vines

Growing Guide: How to plant and care for Vines

Will Sibley

Grape vines are very easy to grow and give enormous pleasure. Vines can grow at a very great speed and some varieties have tendril clinging growths as well as the normal fruiting growth. They are a delight and growing them in your own garden brings a joy to your life you may not yet have experienced.

Read our guide below to help you on your vine growing journey; who knows what you will achieve?!


It is important from the outset to ensure that there is adequate room to grow a vine as they can become intrusive if not properly controlled. Choose a site which will receive the maximum sunlight from mid-morning until late afternoon. It doesn't matter if the vine roots are planted in the shade, so long as the vine can quickly grow into the sunny position. Without a good sunny position, vines will not fruit properly and the grapes do not ripen fully.

It must be remembered that a form of trellis or supporting wires must be erected prior to the vine being planted so that it can be trained and controlled.


Plant the vine about 20cms deep in a very well prepared soil. Whilst the soil can be stony, it should also be very fertile soil. The addition of well-rotted manure or garden compost will help considerably. If possible, the roots should be in a shady position. Surrounding plants can give this environment.  Always water very well immediately after planting.


For the best fruits, it is very important to control the growth of the vine. Either one or two shoots may be allowed to grow from the mains stem of the young vine. These should be tied into the wires or frame which will support the vine for its life. From these main stems side shoots will grow out which in the second year will carry blossom and eventually fruits. The main stems will always form the vine for its lifetime. The side or lateral shoots will be replaced every three or four years by allowing new shoots to grow in their place.    


Grapes are very hungry plants and require considerably amounts of nitrogen to support the large amount of growth. Regular applications of high nitrogen fertiliser should be applied three or four times a year, starting in mid April.


It is not usually necessary to water vines except for the year of establishment when the soil should not be allowed to dry out.


It is important that vines are pruned every year both to control the plant which can become invasive and also to ensure that regular crops of good fruits are produced. There are many good publications on vine pruning and these should be consulted and followed.

Buy Vines online

Visit the Grapes Vines Section on our website to discover the varieties of Grape Vines we have available to order. We sell only the highest quality plants and each tree comes with a lifetime advice package.