Do not place grapes that have been picked on the vine

Growing wine in the garden: this is how you can get your own grapes

Private viticulture in your own garden is easier than many assume. We'll tell you what you need for it and which conditions must be met.

Those who suffer from wanderlust can give their garden a little Mediterranean flair with the right plants. Robust, drought-resistant plants are finding their way into domestic gardens more and more frequently in this country. Even citrus trees can grow in the garden, terrace or balcony under certain circumstances. The demand for such sun-loving plants grows with the almost annually rising temperatures and ever longer dry periods.

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The grapevine should of course not be missing in this row. In Germany, viticulture determines the cultural landscapes of the Moselle, Rhineland-Palatinate and parts of Baden-Württemberg. There, winemakers find almost ideal conditions for cultivating certain grape varieties. However, that does not mean that you have to do without grapevines in private gardens in other parts of the country. In truth, many grape varieties are quite undemanding. To a lesser extent, the plants can also cope with the cooler conditions that they even find in northern Germany.

Planting grapevines: you should pay attention to this

Early summer, April to June to be precise, is the ideal time to plant grapevines. You can buy the plants in specialist plant stores, hardware stores and some online shops. You have the choice between countless varieties, which you can get advice on in the local shops. You can already answer the most important question at home: Would you like to have sweet table grapes that you can nibble freshly picked or do you prefer grapes that are only really edible after processing into wine, for example?

In any case, perhaps the most important condition for the grapevine to grow is direct sunlight. Find a location in full sun and sheltered from the wind, where the plant can loll in the sun for a large part of the day. If you have a small greenhouse in the garden, it offers the ideal conditions. As far as the soil is concerned, it should be as nutritious as possible, but preferably a bit sandy. The more sandy the earth, the more permeable it is. This is important because grapevines do not like feet that are permanently wet. So-called waterlogging damages the roots and hinders the absorption of nutrients.

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The vine is planted in such a way that the grafting point - you can recognize it by the thickening or a slight kink in the shoot - remains about five centimeters above the ground. In the garden you first dig out some soil, just enough to give the roots a good place. Then you put the plant in and fill the hole with a mixture of slightly sandy soil and compost.

But you can also plant vines in the tub on the balcony or terrace. The container should hold at least 30 liters and ideally be 50 to 60 cm deep. Before you fill the pot with soil, it is best to first lay a drainage layer of expanded clay about 5 cm deep on the ground so that the water can drain off better.

Sweet fruits with the right care

Grapevines are self-pollinators. If there is only enough space for one plant, you can still count on wine or table grapes in autumn. But if you plant several vines, keep a distance of about one and a half meters between them.

The grapevine is a climbing plant, which is why you should also put a climbing aid at the side. The plants are often planted on the trellis on the southern wall of the house and the plant also cuts a fine figure when greening the garden fence.

After planting, the need for water is particularly high; the grapevine will only grow well if there is sufficient water supply. Therefore, water them regularly in the first few months. Later, vines prefer drier soil, you only need to use the watering can or water hose during longer periods of drought.

What you should also know: Fruits only form on annual shoots. You can shorten superfluous shoots as you wish. Especially in late summer, it is advisable to remove some leaves so that the energy can be put into the fruit instead. If your vines are spared diseases and pests, you can harvest fully ripe grapes between August and October.

In winter, vines need your help again: To prevent the roots from freezing, you can wrap the plant in fleece and mulch the soil. Piles up the mulch or compost on the main shoot, so that the sensitive processing point is also protected. If everything goes well, the grapevine will stay with you for years.