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Vine with grapes

Own grapevines are a very special feast, not only for the eyes. Even if you only have one or two vines in your garden, year after year they will provide grapes that are great not only for wine but also as a fresh snack between meals. If the location of the vines was chosen well and they were planted according to their needs, you can enjoy your enjoyable harvest for decades.

Grape Varieties

Which vines to plant?

There are numerous grape varieties from all over the world, from the hybrids from the USA to the classics such as Pinot Noir, but not all of these are suitable for the home garden. When selecting suitable grapes, the following aspects must be taken into account so that they can grow at all, let alone produce fruit efficiently.

  • frost hardiness
  • maintenance effort
  • fungal resistance

Due to the quite high demands on the planting site, classic grape varieties that are used purely for viticulture are not always ideal for the garden. Especially if you don't have much space or live in a cooler area of Germany, instead of planting typical varieties, you should either plant vines that are more robust than their relatives or table grapes that, due to their sweetness, are less suitable for the production of wine, but all the more for the are suitable for consumption. Above all, these are well protected against diseases and pests, above all phylloxera and mildew. The grape varieties are now described below.

Grape vine with green grapes

Birstal Nutmeg

  • white, harvest time from mid-August to mid-September

Frumoasa alba

  • white, harvest time mid-September

Kishmish Luchistji

  • rosé, harvest time mid-September


  • blue, harvest time mid-September

Muscat bleu

  • blue, harvest time early September

New York (Lakemont)

  • white, harvest time mid to late September


  • blue, harvest time mid-September


  • white, harvest time early to mid-September

Pölöskei Nutmeg

  • white, harvest time late September to early October


  • blue, harvest time from mid-September


  • red-rosé, harvest time at the beginning of September


  • blue, harvest time from late August to mid-September

Elegant sverhranny

  • white, harvest time mid-August


  • white, harvest time from the beginning of September

Zolotoi Don

  • white, harvest time mid-September


  • rosé, harvest time at the beginning of October


  • blue, harvest time mid-October

Of the grape varieties mentioned above, Regent, Pölöskei Muskat and Muscat Bleu in particular can be used without any problems for wine production. They have a more sour taste and are well suited for this due to their later maturity. Although the yields are quite low and you get about one bottle of wine with four vines, the independent pressing is always worth an experience.

Grapevine on a house wall


When is the best time?

Grapevines are only planted as soon as there is no longer any major risk of frost, as this can be quite dangerous, especially for young plants. Even with varieties that are frost hardy, you have to be careful to protect them from frost as a young specimen, since only the adult plants can withstand it. When is the best time to plant? The spring. At this time of year you should plant the vines from mid-April to mid-May. Planting is also possible in early autumn, but you may only use bare-root vines at this time of year.


The right location is particularly important for successful growth of the vines. Vitis vinifera is a sun worshiper par excellence and therefore feels extremely comfortable in full sun.

The following procurement of the planting site is important:

  • Light requirement: sunny
  • sheltered from the wind
  • best in front of a wall in the cardinal directions S, SE, SW, W
  • Trellis also possible
  • Planting site can also be completely surrounded by walls
  • often avoid temperatures below -15°C
  • late frosts
  • early frost before autumn leaf fall

Planting the vines is less about the when and more about the where. Without the right location with enough heat, sufficient air circulation and protection from wind and weather, the plants quickly die or suffer from pests such as phylloxera. The right planting site also protects the sensitive vines in the cold season and ensures the appropriate microclimate that the vines need. Place the vines at least twenty centimeters from the wall so that they do not suffer from excessive moisture accumulation or heat build-up.

Notice: Please note that vines grow poorly from an altitude of around 400 meters above sea level. For this reason, locations in the Alps are much less suitable for garden vines than, for example, western Baden-Württemberg or the Palatinate.

Prepare garden soil for cultivation


The soil for the vines is just as important as the right planting location. Wine prefers soil that is not prone to waterlogging and is also permeable to air so that the root system does not suffocate.

Pay attention to the following soil properties:

  • humorous
  • heavy tone
  • loamy
  • sandy
  • relaxed
  • permeable
  • good ventilation
  • pH: between 5.0 and 7.5
  • no stone floors

A soil with a lot of humus would be ideal, then the vines can withstand even harsher weather conditions. Also, as grapevine plants are taproots, make sure the roots can dig deep into the ground. For this reason, stony soils are not suitable for the plants, except for substrate that is traversed by fine rubble. The faster the soil can warm up after the cold season, the better off the plants will be.

nutrient-rich substrate


How is it planted?

As soon as you have decided on the right place, it is time to plant the vines. This is sometimes the most important point to enable healthy growth, which enables juicy and tasty grapes. Due to the growth form, you must pay attention to the following points in order to plant the vines successfully.

  • Create climbing aids
  • Preparation of the ground
  • distance of the plants
  • plant cuttings
  • Planting vines from the pot

climbing aids

Grapevines are climbing plants that need a climbing aid in order to be able to grow in a targeted manner while being protected from fungal infections. The appropriate climbing aids are as follows.

  • plant stakes
  • detached trellis
  • trellis on the wall
Vines with climbing aid

Planting stakes are the simplest variant for growing vines in the garden, as these are provided either individually or in duplicate for the plant to tendril. They are well suited for individual plants that are not to be integrated decoratively into the garden, while trellises are made of wire or wood in different shapes. While free-standing trellises can be set up anywhere in a suitable location, wall trellises must be ten to twenty centimeters from the wall to avoid infestation by fungi, especially mildew.

soil preparation

So that you can easily plant the vines in spring, you must carry out the following tillage in the fall.

  • Loosen the planting site about 40 centimeters deep
  • add heavily rotted compost to the substrate
  • the planting area should be about 20 by 30 centimeters


The correct distance between the individual plants is important so that they can develop their full potential and also do not suffer from fungal diseases. The more space the vines have, the better the air circulates and the required microclimate is maintained. The distances in detail are listed below.

  • Row planting: 1.5 -2 m
  • Pergola: 1 - 1.5 m
  • Espalier: 1-1.5 m
  • Horizontal cordon: 2 - 3 m


Cuttings: a guide

Cuttings work fine for planting as long as you order them from a grower or nursery if you don't have any vines in your garden yourself. You should also pay attention to the quality of the individual grape varieties, as you will only enjoy your products for so long. The cuttings should only be placed in the garden in spring, as they would not withstand the coming onset of winter if planted in autumn.

Proceed as follows:

1st step: Water the cuttings extensively before planting them in the ground. The entire root ball must be completely wet in order to be supplied with moisture over a long period of time.

2nd step: Dig a planting hole 35 centimeters deep and when planting several specimens, be sure to keep the individual distances, otherwise there may be a lack of space under the plants.

3rd step: Mix the excavation with about one to two liters of high-quality potting soil and layer it in the planting hole as a cone. Place the cutting on this cone and carefully spread the roots in all directions to optimize nutrient and water uptake.

4th step: Make sure the grafting point is about an inch above the ground so the roots don't get too deep.

5th step: Then fill in the rest of the substrate and keep pressing it down. Be extra careful with the cuttings, you don't want to damage the roots. Stack soil around the grafting site.

6th step: Add water to flush existing holes.

7th step: Don't forget your climbing aid!

Notice: Never trample the earth. That would damage the roots.

Grapevines are also suitable for the home garden

Early potted plants

Pre-grown potted plants: a guide

It's easier if you buy the vines in advance and then plant them in the garden. Of course, you should make sure that the vines are healthy. Vine nurseries that stock selected varieties and offer them in high quality are particularly suitable for this. You can put the plants you have brought forward into the ground in autumn, as they are already slightly larger than the cuttings.

Proceed as follows when planting:

1st step: Prepare a container of water, preferably mineral or rainwater, to hold the root ball. Remove the plant from the pot provided and place the vine in the vessel. Wait until the bale is completely saturated.

2nd step: Now place the vine so deep in the ground that the grafting point protrudes about three centimeters from it. Also make sure to distribute the roots evenly in the soil so that too many roots in one place do not affect growth.

3rd step: Now water extensively so that the substrate can enclose the root ball better and provide support.

4th step: Cover the graft site with soil and continue with usual care.

Grape vines in the garden

potted plants

Potted vines: a guide

You can keep individual specimens in the bucket, for which you only need sufficient space and effective winter protection.

Proceed as follows:

  • The pot must have a volume of at least 30 liters and have drainage holes
  • fill it with high-quality potting soil and expanded clay in a ratio of 2:1
  • plant the plant deep enough that the grafting point sticks out about an inch above the surface
  • use fleece and bubble wrap as protection in winter
  • don't forget a trellis that is placed directly in the bucket

Tip: Use an old barrel as a planter. This is not only decorative, but also offers enough space for extensive growth and keeps the plant warm.

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