Vines require a deep
loam, preferably over a limestone subsoil. Where
this is not possible, work in plenty of lime rubble
before planting. Nitrogenous manures, except for
a handful of the slow-acting bone meal at planting
time, must be avoided for they encourage mildew.
Where planting against a wall or trellis, remove
soil 60cm (2ft) square and to the same depth,
and at the base add a 10cm (4in) deep layer of
rubble, rammed down tightly as when planting figs.
Then plant the soil ball with the vine roots over
a layer of soil to which has been added the bone
meal and 28g (1oz) per plant of sulphate of potash.
This will make the canes grow ‘hard’
and ripen well. Plant in October, allowing 240cm
(8ft) between those vines trained horizontally.
Grapes are an excellent crop for a cold or slightly
heated greenhouse with a winter temperature of
6°C (42°F) for early crops. Here the vines
are trained over the roof of the greenhouse. It
is usual to plant the vine outside, taking the
shoots through an opening in the wall. Plant as
described. For indoors, either Black Alicante
or Black Hamburgh are the best, as these grapes
will ripen well even in a sunless summer.