Grapevines in the garden

Grapevines are a useful and generally attractive crop which can be grown in the UK.

Some varieties are more suited to the British climate than others, such as Blaur Portugieser and Muller-Thurgau.

The former will produce black grapes and the latter white.

Vines should be grown up a south facing trellis or wall in good soil and kept healthy with rich manure and compost, according to

"Before planting improve the soil with manure or compost," it advises.

"Then plant several Vines against a sheltered, sunny wall, about 1.5m apart, or let one plant develop a few leaders."

The ideal time for planting bare root vines is approaching, with the best period being between October and February.

Pruning should be carried out carefully throughout the year, but for the best fruit, only one bunch of grapes should be allowed to develop per shoot, the rest should be removed.

Once the plants start bearing fruit, some may even like to try their hand at wine making.

UK law states that you can make as much wine as you like, as long as no attempt is made to sell it.