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!