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The Country Enterprise Handbook
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Orchard & Vineyard

...Too many apples
...Pears etc
>..- Viticulture
...- Not only grapes!

There is an imaginary line drawn from Pembroke to the Wash and if you live south of it, you can grow vines on south-facing slopes.

If you live to the north of it, you require the additional shelter of a wall. In exposed areas the grapes will only ripen under glass. Grapes should be planted between October and March. The most successful transplants are usually one-year-old ones. The vines require staking and a top dressing of compost. The variety you choose should be governed first by the weather in your area and second by the type of grapes you wish to produce.

On heavy soils you may well need to drain, using broken rubble or some- thing similar. If you are fortunate enough to have an established vineyard in your area, you may be able to go on a tour of it. Here you can gather all sorts of valuable information. The varieties used, how they are trained, the work in progress on them and so on.

Often vineyards sell young vines as part of their business; if the plants are growing well in your area, at least any questions about suitable hardiness are answered. Vineyards often use plastic netting as wind-breaks and for protection from frost. If you can keep an eye on a professional producer it makes your first few years easier.