How To Grow Grapes In The UK?

Last Updated on August 9, 2022 by Real Men Sow

Vitis vinifera is sometimes considered unsuitable for the UK climate. However, there are many grape varieties that can thrive in warmer areas of the country. You can also grow them in greenhouses. Dessert grapes will produce better results when covered since they need plenty of heat to fully ripen.

Best Place To Grow Grapes

A grapevine is a great climber for walls or fences. It has distinctive leaves that change colour beautifully in autumn, regardless of whether it’s fruitful. They are both wine-producing and sweet grapevines, so if you’re looking to take on a new gardening challenge they’re worth it.Grapes

How To Grow Grapes

Grapevines can be grafted onto rootstock. The join between a grapevine and rootstock will be visible above the soil line in the pot. This should not be touched by soil when you plant your vine.

You should choose a sunny spot with plenty of sunshine. If they have plenty of sunshine, vines will thrive on any soil that is not prone to erosion. Although they can be grown outdoors, some varieties will grow more reliably in a greenhouse.

Proper Conditions For Rooting For Growing Grapes

Good drainage and space are essential for roots. While cold will not affect their growth, damp roots won’t make for happy grapevines. You can prepare your soil for indoor or outdoor growth by digging a large hole, adding crocks and gravel to aid drainage, and adding a good amount of compost or well-rotted manure.

How Tall Do Grapevines Grow?

If you are growing outside, allow a minimum of 15 cm between your vine and any fence or wall it will grow against. Plant vines 1.5m apart, in rows 1.5-2m apart, if you are interested in winemaking.

Grape Vines

How To Care For Grapevine

Grapes don’t require much water if they are grown outside, except in extremely dry conditions. Grapes are hungry plants. A generous amount of well-rotted horse manure is applied to their soil in the spring. They also get a sprinkle of bone and blood mix. Use a tomato feed once a week during the first part of summer. You can grow dessert grapes by feeding them weekly until they start to ripen.

Remove any flowers from newly planted grapevines for the first two year. Keep only a few grapes on the vine for the next three years until the vine is established at five years.

Where to grow grapevines?

Grapevines can be trained on walls, on trellis, or over arches. They require very little space on ground if they are properly trimmed. Limit the growth to three vertical stems in the first year. To encourage growth in the next year, tie the stems to the wires. To encourage air circulation and allow fruits to ripen, keep your stems spaced apart.

As needed in spring, trim the side shoots. Any fruits that are left over in the middle of summer should be trimmed with a pair of long scissors. Grapevines can also produce fruit on two horizontal branches, cordons, or espaliers.

Harvesting Grapes

Grapes are not affected by cold temperatures, but lack of sunlight for fruit ripening. Any fruits that have gone moldy should be removed. Grapes are generally ready for picking from September to October if you had a good summer. Grapes will be ready for picking when they are ripe by their color and taste. It is worth sampling a few.

Storing Grapes

Grapes should be eaten as soon as possible after being picked. However, they can retain their flavor for up to a week in a cool area or refrigerator.

Growing Grapes: Problem Solving

Gray mold – develops in damp conditions and areas where there isn’t enough air movement around plants. Gray mold can affect buds, leaves, flowers, and fruit. It can also affect the overall health and growth of the plant and could be fatal for damaged or weak plants. Burn the areas that are affected if you spot it.

The surface of leaves can develop powdery mildew – can affect the growth of the vine. Some varieties are resistant to mildew.

Red spider mites – can make leaves turn pale and cause the webbing to fall. There are biological controls.

Mealybugs – cause black sooty mold on leaves due to their honeydew secretions. Ladybirds and other biological controls can be helpful.

Five Grape Varieties To Grow

Black Hamburg

Produces delicious dark dessert grapes but it is best grown in greenhouses


A robust variety that can be grown outdoors. Although it is readily available, it does not produce the highest quality grapes.

Muscat Saint Vallier

A self-fertile and seeded hybrid grape that’s better suited for eating than wine.

Poloske muscat

A green grape variety that can grow outdoors in most parts of the UK. It is resistant to mildew and produces lots of sweet-tasting fruits.

Muscat Bleu

 A very dark and almost black grape. This grape is extremely resistant to disease and produces high-quality fruit outdoors.

Real Men Sow
Real Men Sow

Hello, I’m Pete and I’m currently based in the west of Scotland, in a small place called Rosneath, where I’m exploring my garden adventures. I personally started gardening around 6 years ago and initially, I started out by growing my favorite fruits and berries, such as strawberries, Raspberries & Gooseberries. Since then I’ve added a lot of vegetables and working closely with my neighbor, it’s been a lot of fun.