Propagate vines

It’s easy to take cuttings from them at this time of year

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There are many types of vines that we can grow in our garden, including ornamental ones such as Vitis coignetiae and V. vinifera ‘Purpurea’ that are grown for their colourful foliage through summer and autumn, although they also produce small, unpalatable grapes. Edible vines that are grown for their white or black grapes that ripen in late summer can be grown outdoors or undercover, depending on the variety you choose.

Commercial vines are grafted onto rootstocks, but at home it’s easy to propagate them from cuttings taken in late winter. There are two methods that work well. One is to take hardwood cuttings around 20-25cm (8-10in) long, depending on the vigour of the vine. The other is to take vine-eye cuttings that consist of a short section of a stem and a single bud. This is a good way to take lots of cuttings as each bud along a stem is a potential plant. The underside of the vine-eye is wounded with a knife to expose the cambium layer and encourage roots to form.

For both methods you need healthy one-year old stems from last year and for best results they should be rooted undercover, especially the vine-eye cuttings. A cold greenhouse is fine, but preferably one with frost protection.