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Companion Planting For Grapes

>9 April 2012
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We’ve put in four grapevines this spring; two white grapes, and two Concords. I planted them in a bed bordering the outer side of my garden fence. The plan is to train them espalier style along the wire fencing.

But since the vines will grow vertically, the entire ground of the bed will be bare of growth. It’s such a shame to me to waste all of that space, so I started looking into what might be good to plant there; which plants will benefit my grapevines, and which should I avoid putting too close to them?

Here’s what I’ve found out…

  • Hyssop is a GREAT companion plant for grapes. The bees love their flowers, the plant acts as a deterrent to pests, and it helps to stimulate the growth and flavor of grapes.
  • Geraniums are beneficial to keeping pests away from grapevines, like those dreaded leafhoppers.
  • Wild Blackberries growing within a mile from the vines create the perfect habitat for a beneficial, parasitic wasp which destroys the eggs of leafhoppers.
  • Clover increases soil fertility for grapes.
  • Chives help to repel aphids.
  • Grapevines do well planted under Elm or Mulberry trees.
  • Vines also like to be planted near beans, peas, oregano and basil.
  • Do NOT plant with cabbage or radishes.
  • Side Note: Mulching with wood chips from tree trimmings adds just the right amount of Nitrogen to the soil, and is very beneficial to the plants.

I happened to have some Hyssop seeds, so I got them started today. I really should have had them growing already (8 weeks before last frost), but I’m gonna give it a shot anyways. Hyssop is a perennial, so once I can get them going I can look forward to the plants coming back every year. It also has medicinal uses, which I plan on experimenting with eventually.

I think I’ll also get some Geraniums to plant underneath the vines. That’ll be a nice way to pretty up the space, and attract beneficial pollinators.

Hope this is helpful to somebody! If you know of any other good companion plants for grapevines, or any other tips in general, please do share!

 

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8 Comments »

  • Meg said:

    This is extremely helpful to me! :-) I just planted 4 concord grape vines this past weekend. Thank you!!

  • Katie W. said:

    Thank you for posting this. I was thinking of doing grapevines someday and will keep this information. Thank you again!

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Great, Meg! Glad it came in good timing for ya :)

  • Debbie@ouroldhomestead.blogspot.com said:

    Great tips! Growing grapes is a skill I am planning in the near future so I am looking forward to hearing your experiences with it.

  • CJB said:

    Rose Bushes,

    “Both roses and grape vines are susceptible to the same diseases. Indeed, roses act as early warning of mildew which is a fungal disease. There are two main kinds of mildews: Powdery mildew (Oidium).. [&] ..Downy mildew.”

    http://www.wine-treasures.com/blog/2007/05/i-just-came-back-from-vacation-in.html

  • Valerie said:

    Thank you for posting this! We planted grapes last year and I had wondered what would work well with them. :)

  • Debbie Burgess said:

    Take care when mulching with fresh wood chips because the process of decomposition will actually leach nitrogen from the soil.

  • Babe said:

    Oh legend! I have 3 grape vines going in shortly and was also thinking it would be bare under them. They’ll be growing along one of the fences by our garden so anything that attracts the bees has to be a good thing – hullo hyssop ;) and wild blackberries grow all over the place round here! Thanks for this :)

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