Growing Grapes In Greenhouse – Farming, Cultivation, Production In India

Growing Grapes in Greenhouse in India

The Grape is the important crop grown in the world. A grape belonging to the Vitaceae family is a commercially important fruit crop of India. Mostly Grapes are grown for making wines and preparation of raisin and then as a table fresh fruit. The fruit contains about 20% sugar in an easily digestible form besides being rich in calcium and phosphorus. In India, the total area under Grapes is about 40,000 hectares, distributed in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu. In India, Grape is mostly consumed as fresh fruit and some fruits utilized for the production of liquor, and dry fruits like raisins, etc. Now, let us get into the detailed information of growing Grapes in Greenhouse.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Growing Grapes in Greenhouse in India

Guide to Growing Grapes in Greenhouse
Guide to Growing Grapes in Greenhouse (Image credit: Pixabay)

Best Varieties for Growing Grapes in Greenhouse

The most popular varieties of Grapevines to grow in a greenhouse are Thompson’s Seedless, which produces a seedless green Grape, and the Black Hamburg, which produces a larger, darker Grape. Both are delicious and well worth your time. Vitis vinifera ‘Black Hamburg’ – It is best grown in a greenhouse.

Soil Requirement for Growing Grapes in Greenhouse

Grape crops can be cultivated in different variety of soils like sandy loams, sandy clay loams, red sandy soils, and red loams. The soil must be well-drained, having good water holding capacity and an impervious layer in the top 90-cm. Grapes can be grown successfully over a wide range of soil pH levels, however, soils having a pH range of 6.5-8.0 are considered ideal.

Growing Grapes in a Specialized Vinery

To get first-class Grapes, you need a specialized vinery where an ideal environment can be maintained. Once established, a Grapevine will produce good crops for a small amount of effort. A single vine, trained as a long rod, will give you a bunch of Grapes every week for 3 months.

When to Plant Grapes in a Greenhouse

Ideally, the best time of year to start planting Grapes in a greenhouse is during the winter season, from December until March, when the vine is dormant. Grapes can be purchased in small pots from a garden center, which is an ideal way for beginners to start. If you have a small greenhouse, start by only planting a single vine, as you don’t want your greenhouse to become crowded.

Tips for Growing Grapes in Greenhouse

Grapes are considered to be a warm climate fruit, and they indeed prefer long, hot summers to ripen fully. Although you can grow wine varieties of Grapevines in a greenhouse system, it is more sensible to use your greenhouse for the sweeter and more delicate dessert varieties, producing high-quality Grapes that you would not be able to grow successfully outdoors. Grapes are grown for table use in India. It is not necessary to grow Grapes in a greenhouse but it will yield a better crop. The advantage of growing Grapes in a greenhouse is that Grapes will be tastier and of better quality. It is very important to remember that Grapevines take up a lot of room. If you have a smaller greenhouse you could want to grow only one vine. Plant your vine in a planter so that the roots will be restricted and the vine will not get so large. It is easy to grow Grapes in a Greenhouse if you follow some of our top tips;

Preparing the Border for Growing Grapes in Greenhouse

  • Growing Grapes in the greenhouse to spread their roots, but you will get heavier crops if you restrict this tendency; the vine will produce a lot of vegetative growth at the expense of fruit.
  • By confining the plant roots to a prepared border, you can better regulate the amount of water and nutrients the Grape plants receive.
  • This is the best way of growing greenhouse Grapefruits, as it ensures a balance between root and shoots throughout the life of the vine, and prevents the nearby soil from becoming ‘sour’ and infertile.
  • Good drainage is the essential feature of a satisfactory vine border.
  • If you are planting the Grapevines indoors, the border should ideally be about 1.5 meters by 3 meters for each vine, while you can produce quite good Grapes with smaller borders.
  • Dig out the soil to a depth of about 75 cm keeping the topsoil and subsoil separate.
  • Cover this layer with turves laid upside down, or with about 15 cm depth of straw, to prevent the soil percolating down into the drainage layer and then blocking it.
  • Then return the soil to the border, mixing it with two 12 Liter buckets of rotted manure and 120 grams of bone meal per plant, making sure that the topsoil goes back on top.
  • Tread the soil down lightly as it is returned, so there is not too much subsidence later.
  • Border preparation must be done 2 to 3 months before planting, to give the soil time to settle naturally.

Outdoor borders

If your greenhouse space is limited, and you wish to grow Grapes, then it is a better idea to plant it outdoors and train the above-ground portion into the greenhouse through a hole in the wall. Remove a brick from the greenhouse wall at ground level where you want the vine to enter; temporarily block the hole with newspaper until you come to train the vine through it. Then prepare the outside border as you would for an inside border.

Different Ways to Plant Grapes in a Greenhouse

You have three choices when deciding how to plant Grapes in a greenhouse. If the greenhouse is small you can plant vine with the roots outside, and you can make a hole in the bottom or top of the greenhouse. The second option is to keep the roots of the vine inside the greenhouse. The third choice is to plant in a tub if you would like to plant several Grape varieties.

Growing With Roots Outside

In a greenhouse, Grapevines can take up a vast amount of space because of their substantial root systems. When you plant your Grapevine with the root outside you allow more space in the greenhouse.

When planting with the roots outside, you begin by planting your Grapevine just outside the greenhouse and then train it or coax it into the greenhouse via a hole in the bottom or top of the greenhouse. You can be able to remove a brick on the floor of the greenhouse to make this process easier.  

Growing With Roots Inside

The benefit of planting Grapevine with the roots inside is that you may get Grapes earlier as the soil will be warmer. If you decide to plant with the roots inside, you will want more space. Then, it will require more watering and general care.

Planting in a Tub

Grapevines will grow extensively and if you plant in a tub the roots will be unable to spread, therefore limiting the plant growth. This can be a good thing if your greenhouse is on the small side. You should be watering your Grapevine regularly. It is also important to fill the tub with good quality compost fortified with nutrients. If you choose to grow a Grapevine in a tub there is no problem with taking the tub outside when the vines have matured. The vines themselves are pretty resilient. It is important to prune your vines each year down to only 4 to 6 stubs. Then, proper pruning will help ensure vines are manageable and the fruit continues to grow.

Planting Procedure for Growing Grapes in Greenhouse

The best method of planting Grapes in a greenhouse is with the root outside the greenhouse and the vine inside. This may sound a bit strange, but it is the optimum method of planting, as it reduces the amount of watering that the roots require. Then, this can be done by creating a small hole in the side of your greenhouse near ground level and training the vine through.

If this just doesn’t seem possible in the greenhouse, or you don’t want to create the hole, then Grapevines can be planted inside too just note that they will require more irrigation. Whether you’re planting the roots outside or in, you want to dig a hole for the roots of the vine, ensuring the soil is well fertilized, and add more well-rotted compost or fertilizer if required. The hole must be the same depth as the pot you’re transferring the vines from. As with planting any other plant, gently tease the roots out with fingers as you pop it into the hole, as this will encourage the roots to spread out and grow.

The number of vines you plant and their spacing mainly depends on the way you intend to train them and on the size of your greenhouse. The best time to plant is when the vine is about to start into growth in the late winter season; alternatively, early autumn is equally suitable. Use strongly rooted pot-grown Grapevines. Plant your vine in a hole 75 cm deep, the bottom of which has been filled with about 15 to 25 cm of rubble covered with turves.

A fully grown vine can be very heavy and should be well supported on strong wires. Whatever method of training you select, the wires must be horizontal, 30 cm apart. Then, tie young Grapevines to the wires with a soft string; older vines can be tied with ordinary string.

Training Procedure for Growing Grapes in Greenhouse

How you train your Grapevine will be mostly decided by the shape of the greenhouse.

The best method is to plant the Grapevine near the end wall (normally in an outside border) and then train it vertically up the end wall until it is 45 cm from the roof in a small ridge house. You can train the vine to produce one, two, or more, main branches, called ‘rods’, each of which is trained up the sloping side of the greenhouse until it almost reaches the ridge.

If you are planting more than one vine space the vines at 1.5 m intervals. If you are going to train 2 main branches,’ plant the vines at 2.1 m intervals.

In case if you miss this: Organic Dragon Fruit Farming.

Watering and Care in Growing Grapes in Greenhouse

  • All Grapes need to be watered well during their growing season and aim to water them every seven to 10 days. Where the roots are growing outside your greenhouse, you will want to water them more frequently.
  • In the greenhouse, water weekly during the growing season and then spray to increase humidity until flowers appear.
  • Your Grapes can benefit from mulching, with more well-rotted manure, in the spring, before the main growth starts. Also, you could put straw around the roots in the summer months, in the same way as you would strawberry plants, to help the fruit set.
  • Continuously check Grapevines for signs of disease. Powdery mildew and grey mould are the most important diseases. You can protect Grapes by ensuring you have good ventilation in your greenhouse and pruning back your vines to limit overcrowding. Also, you can look for mildew resistant Grape varieties or use a fungicide.
  • In the greenhouse, red spider mite can cause plant leaves to become pale, and covered in webbing, and drop. Biological controls are available.
  • Just before growth starts in the spring season, sprinkle the rooting area with bone meal and fertilizer, and feed every 3 weeks once they have begun to grow. Once the Grapes get their color and have started ripening, stop feeding the plants, to ensure they retain the best possible taste.
  • Water the Grapevines every 7 to 10 days during the growing season (more frequently if they are in tubs), but remember that outdoor roots will require less water (unless you’re experiencing a spell of dry weather).
  • The Grapes could need a hand with pollination once the vine comes into flower. You can do this by hand-pollinating them with a feather, or by shaking the stems when the greenhouse is mainly warm and well-ventilated. Either process will help with transferring pollen between the flowers.
  • Grapes grown in a greenhouse will need pruning, just like outdoor Grapes.

Problems with Growing Grapes in Greenhouse

Red spider mites – These mites favor dry and water-stressed plants. Spray the Grapevines daily to keep a humid environment where needed until flowers appear on the plants. Parasitic mites introduced into the greenhouse can aid in control.

Vine weevils – The larvae attack the plant roots and can cause the entire plant to fall over. If possible, where Grapes are planted in pots, immerse pots in a solution of rotenone.

Scale insects – Monitor Grape vines regularly and scrape off these insects as soon as they are noticed.

In terms of plant diseases, powdery mildew can affect Grapes, often brought about by poor air circulation, heat, and crowding. There are a few mildew-resistant Grape varieties, or you can stay on top of pruning to ensure the plant doesn’t get too overcrowded. Alternatively, you can use a suitable fungicide.

Gray mould is another one to look out for, which you can help protect against by ensuring the greenhouse is well-ventilated and any dead plant material is removed quickly.

Feeding Requirement for Growing Grapes in Greenhouse

In the greenhouse, the more feed you put in trees the more you get out. They want a regular food source to reward you. For Grapevines that are growing in the open ground a good balanced N.P.K fertilizer, or grow more, may be applied in February or March before growth starts.

For planting Grapes inside a greenhouse or similar structure, you will probably have to import the planting medium, whether it is in a border or a container. For fruit growth, you must aim to create a fairly porous mix of about 60% loam, 20% peat, and 20% coarse grit. Extra fertilizer can be added, a dusting of bone meal is ideal.

Maintaining the Environment for Growing Grapes in Greenhouse

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Environment for Growing Grapes in Greenhouse (Pic source: Pixabay)

The warm, humid environment of the greenhouse is ideal for several pests and diseases, which can spread depressingly rapidly if given the opportunity, but keeping the greenhouse system clean. Supporting those Grape plants which need it and tying in their emerging shoots coupled with a regime of pruning, pricking out, potting on, and pinching out plants as necessary.

Providing some form of shade as appropriate can also be of great benefit and avoiding leaves getting scorched and the almost inevitable subsequent disease attacks that the weakened and damaged plant will suffer. Part of routine greenhouse maintenance involves being constantly on the look-out for pests and diseases like aphids, red spider mite, mealybug, mildew, and botrytis and being ready to treat them promptly.

Spring cleaning is, clearly, every bit as important to our greenhouses, but in addition to a one-off annual tidy-up, routine maintenance is essential to keep everything running smoothly. Though, with a little attention to 1 or 2 key essentials, keeping our greenhouses in peak condition need not present too much of a problem nor take up too much of our time.

When and How to Harvest Grapes with Greenhosue Farming

Wait until Grape trusses are fully ripe before harvest. If growing dessert varieties sample 1 or 2 fruits at intervals after they have ‘colored up’ to see if they are sweet and juicy enough to enjoy. Though, weighty trusses cut by using sharp scissors never pulled off the vine which could cause damage. Bear in mind that late plant varieties can be well into November before they are fully ripe.

Greenhouse Loans and Subsidies in India

The Indian government is trying to promote greenhouse farming all over the country by introducing greenhouse farming subsidies via its horticulture department. Subsidies of around 50 to 60% are provided on the entire project cost of the greenhouse set up. The amount and percentage of provided subsidy may change to the individual state. Certain types of greenhouses are considered equipment and easier to finance.

Greenhouse Agriculture Bank Loan Providers in India;

SBI – State Bank of India provides financial assistance for greenhouse cultivation. For different crops, the loan repayment starts after the completion of the gestation period varying from 4 to 7 years. You will need to contact your nearest SBI branch for applying for the loan.

Oriental Bank of Commerce – OBC (Oriental Bank of Commerce) provides financial assistance for the construction of the greenhouse and poly house. Also, you apply for loans for the purchase of equipment, and machinery, etc. The bank may ask for the greenhouse machinery and equipment as primary security. Also, you will need to submit collateral security against your loan amount.

ICICI Bank – ICICI Bank offers a wide range of products for the greenhouse farming business. Also, you can use the overdraft facility to meet the cost of cultivation for farming and allied activities.

Bank of Baroda – If you have your land for cultivation, you can apply for a loan from the Bank of Baroda. Depending upon the cost of the project and subject to assessment as per the bank, the bank approves the loan amount. Also, you can avail of a repayment time for a maximum of 15 years. Though, you must show sufficient income to the bank for repaying the installments.

HDFC Bank Agricultural Loan – There are different loan products you can apply for from HDFC bank. The HDFC bank provides crop loans, warehouse receipt finance, bill discount, and current account. The bank provides the term loan for a variety of purposes including the development of greenhouse structures and plantations.

Axis Bank Agriculture Loan – Axis Bank provides horticulture loans to facilitate farmers with credit for the purchase of Inputs, machinery, drip irrigation installation, and domestic consumption, etc.

Subsidies available from the Government for Greenhouse development in India;

Under Government boards and schemes, agriculture subsidies are provided in our country. Likewise, for Greenhouse farming, there are several subsidies provided under different schemes by different boards. The provided subsidies are in the form of soft loans or back-ended subsidies on the total cost of the project. Because agriculture is the dominant sector, even bank loans are offered for agricultural purposes under minimum interest rates.


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