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Grapes

 
Jennifer Smith
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Location: Zone 5
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I am studying on grapes.  I plan to get two of the Reliance vines to start.  They should do well in zone 5 or 6. 

What do they like/need?  What if any tricks can you all offer me? 

When is the best time to plant them and who is the best to buy them from? 

Would it be wise to make them a raised planter?  We have plenty of rock but that is work. 
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
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A while back I ran into commercial blends of understory guild for grapes, but I'm having trouble finding the link.

Some parts of the country are infested with glassy-winged sharpshooters, in which case a variety resistant to the contagion they carry (basically just CA natives as of a couple years ago) might be in order.  It would seem you're far removed from that problem, thankfully.

I think most commercial vineyards use Concord grape rootstock with scion of European varieties.  Around here, some of the best wine comes from dry-cropping: lots of biomass is built up in the understory during the wet season, and killed and covered to tide the vines over the dry season.  Deeper roots mean more minerals, and less water means the fruit has more concentrated flavors, including but not especially sugar.  Consider letting your grapes freeze on the vine if you're going to ferment them: Eiswein commands a premium, for good reason.

I think you can put off the work of raised beds for later: you'll probably want to train them to the same height regardless, and they'll put out adventitious roots under whatever your grade ends up being.  I have a devious plan to eventually use grapevines as the structure of raised beds or trellises, if I can find a plant something like wysteria or kudzu (only less aggressive) to use as living wattle.

They do well trained over a shade structure or a garden gate, too.

They need lots of pruning, so consider getting fewer than you'll ultimately need and using the copious clippings to propagate it.  Also, consider using the trimmings for wreaths (to be decorated with greenery) or baskets, and lacto-fermenting the leaves as you would cabbage.

Doing a quick internet search, it sounds like "Candice" and "Chardonnel" are similar varieties in terms of cold hardiness, but with different flavor etc.
 
Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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I have relilance grapes..they require a lot of sun and some manure or compost a couple times a year is helpful..they prefer to be on a slight slope..and i like a tall trellis..but some people prefer shorter treillises..i like to get multiuse out of my grapes by putting them over something high enough to where i can sit under it..so i have them over swings and arbors and gazebos..and up over fences..

your zone is good for reliance..i tend to use the mail order sources like Starks as they are healthier than the ones you get in stores..and have better roots..but if you have friends with some..try cuttings.
 
                              
Posts: 262
Location: Coast Range, Oregon--the New Magic Land
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[stuff about spam deleted - pw]


Grapes--I'm in coast range of Oregon, 1000', I have a vine of green table grape.  I don't water the vine, the grapes are small but yummmy, and the vine does not seem stressed or wilt in the big heat--it seems it gets enough water on it's own. My hub is from CA and he says to water the vine more often(he used to work in the CA vineyards in the Central valley where they do need more water). I say leave it alone, if it's getting enough why waste water. We get 80" annual rainfall, but barely any rain during summer. What do you think.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Location: Oakland, CA
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I bet your roots are deeper than the ones he used to manage.

Part of the problem there is incredible hardpan. Take a look at the Fresno Underground Gardens, or read East of Eden for some slightly fanciful info on that.  I think roots have a problem reaching deep enough for dry-cropping in most parts of the valley.

It works great in hilly places that have never been ploughed too severely.
 
Jennifer Smith
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Location: Zone 5
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Most important thing I found while studying is that grapes should be planted in the Spring.  So...I would love to hear more about the reliance grapes, and others too but this project is put off...but I will dig the holes and fill with sawdust/horse manure...mostly sawdust, with a bit of horse manure to help speed the rotting.  I plan to pick up rock out of the horse pasture and build them little personal planters to deter mowing and driving over.  Any thoughts?  Especially on the mixture ratio?
 
Jennifer Smith
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Location: Zone 5
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Oops, the rotted sawdust is for the blueberries...a project for another time but something I was studying on.  Got a bit confused, and that is why just one thing at a time for me.
 
Jennifer Smith
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Location: Zone 5
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Hey Rose, a tip for you...

If I start to get the funny taste/color you talk of from my pan I wash as usual (hot water no soap) Then as I dry it and oil it on the stove, I scrub with much Brio and a clean luffa (which I grow and think a great addition to the home) and oil as I heat (sometimes add salt). Wipe with clean paper towel and it is again good for my fresh yummy eggs.
 
Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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i try to consolidate notes on my garden plants and some of the notes that i have for grapes include the following conditions..(but this is for Michigan)
grapes will grow deep roots and prefer gravelly or rocky soil, in our area we prefer to use a sun trap area for grapes as they require warmer than our normal temperatures (which can be downright cold).

Fruit is born on currant seasons groth but early spring or late winter pruning is preferable. Do not overfertilize grapes as you will get more leaf growth and less grape growth. Lime if too acid. Potash and mulch are good for grapes. Grapes are wind pollinated so plant them close to other grapes, 8 vines are about right for the average family. Your soil should be deeply drained, in full sun with good air circulation and arm soil. Root cuttings can be used. Other additions to consider are granite dust, rock phosphate, potash, limestone, PH 6 -8 space 6 t 10 feet apart.

hope this info is helpful
 
Jennifer Smith
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Location: Zone 5
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I am right now putting a whole seeded grape in a small pot of dirt to see what happens.  I will keep it in the same kitchen (east facing) window as my other happy plants.  The west facing window apearantly gets too hot for their liking at this time of year.
 
Jennifer Smith
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Location: Zone 5
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Ok,
so Henry Fields sends me an email today with "fall plantings on sale" including the Reliance grape I think I want ,  so...

Who has planted grapes and when?  How did they do and what kinds?  Anyone grown them from seed and/or grafted?

I would really like to hear from anyone who has planted in the fall.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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on my way home from Traverse City Michigan yesterday I saw a sign "grape plants for sale"...so I guess they are available right now here as well.

i have a lot of grape vines planted here..Michigan isn't the best climate for grapes so i put in the hardiest ones..i have concords that are well over 100 years old here that i baby..they are bearing fairly well this year..i have gobs of seedless grapes that i have put in..they are bearing fair..but some are just baby vines that were put in this year or moved this spring from being planted 2 years ago in the wrong place (stupid stupid stupid)..they are also doing OK but had no grapes on them..moved well in spring.

i have been considering trying a couple vines in my greenhouse but thought it might be too small to house grapevines as they can be huge..even when pruned hard
 
Jennifer Smith
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Location: Zone 5
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I was just reading a thing on "my biggest garneding mistake" and mine, here so far, would be telling my other half that grapes should be planted in the spring...  Now I need to convince him otherwise. 
 
Jennifer Smith
Posts: 714
Location: Zone 5
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Well I got too busy with drainage issues to even miss having grapes to plant. 

I am sketching out my landscape guilds and wonder if everyone could add a plant.  So far...

Grape, asparagus, strawberry, evergreen onions, parsely, ?

Also I read of vines and trees as layers in a guild, any info there?
 
Colin Thomas
Posts: 21
Location: Castlegar, B.C. Zone 6a-6b
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The house we just bought has some Concord grapes along the driveway on the south side of the property. We managed to get at least five overflowing steel mixing bowls from it. We ate some and turned the rest into concentrate so now all we have to do is mix with water for a refreshing drink. It was a lot of work though, but the more times we do it the more efficient we will become.

On a side note the vine has a bunch of rather big mushrooms growing around it during the last few weeks. I am wondering if there is some kind of mutual benefit going on because the crop seemed quite big, but the vine was not trained/pruned properly. I all so do not know if the previoues owners ever gave it water. I just started to discover the whole mushroom side of things the other day when I watched the paul stamets ‘6 Ways…’

Anyone care to guess if there is a nice web of mycelium under grapes. Would it be safe to under plant it if there was? I do not want to go poking around in the soil and disturb things too much.

Colin

I tried to add a pic but I can not for some reason.

 
Leah Sattler
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I planted a grape vine last spring and it has seemed to do fine so far. it ran up a stock panel arched arbor I created and leaved out well. that was after a quick fix amendment. I dug it up, dumped a bunch of rock and sand in the hole and created a shallow raised bed for it. it was obviously not too happy with the wettish ground at first but it recovered quickly. I think it is a table grap....Flame...maybe? I can't wait to get grapes and next year I plant to take cuttings to start more in different areas of the property.
 
Fred Morgan
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Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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My father had grape vines, he bought them from Miller in Canadaguia NY.  (Fingerlakes region) One thing I remember is that for the best flavor, grape vines like yellow clay. Not saying they won't grow elsewhere, but areas with yellow clay around lakes, for helping moderate severe winters is the best - and the wines in the Finger lakes are famous.

One reason is that fruit is born on one year old wood if I recall. So, get used to pruning! Also, if you have a severe winter, your vine might come back, but you won't have fruit due to losing the tender wood.

If you wish to have larger grapes, remove some of the clusters, this will make bigger, sweeter grapes.

Okay, that is all I remember, we don't have grapes down here, no cold season. We don't have peaches, either. 
 
paul wheaton
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I'm sitting in on toby hemenway's PDC today.  Doug Bullock is a guest instructor and has mentioned that grapes prefer crappy soil!

 
Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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hope you got your grapes in Jenn, this has been a wonderful grape year.

my grapes are literally loaded (established ones) and the baby ones i put in are all doing very well, one i thought was dead actually came back from the roots.

as for the reliance..i have a few of those here..the reliance name is good for zone 4 5 of both grapes and peaches.
 
Aljaz Plankl
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Here in temperate climate grapes really grow on kinda crappy soil. There are vineyards on slopes and the main structure under the top soil is marl.

When you get to plant it you could consider not pruning them. Here is a video that presents one of the food forests in Greek. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aBVvRzU__Q

In the end of February i took cuttings of some old variety which is also bearing true fruit from clone. They don't have to be "word i can't remember". Cutting are already growing. I put cuttings with 8 eyes with most eyes horizontally in soil, leaving one or more eyes out and placing a rock on the soil, where the buried part is.
 
Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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our forests here are full of wild grapes..they grow wherever..everywhere..and they bear heavily..i have some growing wild in our woods and hedgerows..and they are so loaded with grapes.

i pruned some brush out of my one hedgerow this last week and there were grapevines tangled in the juniper bushes i had to trim out..so i tacked the grapevines to some lattice fencing hoping to save them as they were heavy with grapes..
 
Aljaz Plankl
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I was climbing cherry tree and eating cherries and saw that there will also be some grapes soon. Grapes climbing trees, nice one.
 
Jennifer Smith
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Location: Zone 5
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I have 5 grape plants left surviving.  I gave a few away and several didn't survive my trips west.  All in all they are easy to propagate.  I can see a lot of grapes in my future, need some way to keep this hot hot sun off of my deck and such.  all plants are in pots but this fall I will start to make this place my own on a more permanant basis... I do have commitment issues.
 
Brenda Groth
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well definately grapes are wonderful on an arbor over a deck or anywhere..i have a lot of them growing up over several arbors and trellises..and they make a deep dense shade..and it is so fun to look up and see the clusters of grapes hanging over your head when you are sitting in the shade or swinging on the swings under them.

birds love them in the rainstorms..as they stay dry..and they go in there to get out of the wind.

so i do get plenty of bird poo on my decking..oh..may be cause my bird feeders are nearby though..also.

i have bird feeders near nearly all of my grape arbors so i can watch from the shade
 
Jennifer Smith
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Location: Zone 5
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I have yellow finches loving the sunflower seeds that grow out of the horse manure I use around... the silly sunflowers grow right up out of a fresh pile of manure, all ove the pasture too... go figure.  So added to my list is trellis for grapes...just #104 I like the idea of shade in summer and sun in winter.
 
Haru Yasumi
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We have some concord grapes and smaller green grapes growing on our back patio here.  Their woody bases start on the north side of the porch where it is very shaded but they've been trained up and over the porch.  I have had much the same experiences as wyldthang  with the grapes as they are fine all summer without any water.  I attribute some of this to the bases of the plants being shaded and very water-retentive.  I do occasionally give them some old water from various projects and I planted a small bed of Phacelia and Nasturtium that I water very sparingly.  They would be fine without my help but with such a heavy load of grapes I'm sure they appreciate my occasional attention.
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Allison Rooney
Posts: 42
Location: Shields Valley Montana
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Jennifer, I would avoid adding composted sawdust/horse manure into the planting hole of any woody perennial fruit or fruit tree...the idea is that if you dig a hole in poor or needy soil, and add a bunch of rich organic matter, you'll only end up encouraging the plant to circle its' feeder roots around and around in the hole, making for very week anchoring.  To encourage the plant to adapt more readily to the native soil, plant only in native dirt, but amend the SURFACE of the soil.  You want the plant to send its pioneer roots further and deeper, while benefitting from the compost "tea" essentially that percolates down from above...I am attempting to plant "Beta" and "Valiant" grapes here in super cold SW Montana...these varieties are seeded, and are half native american riverbank grape, hardy to zone 3.  You can get away with alot more with grapes than you think.  If you live in zone 6, but can plant a grape arbor over the southwestern corner of your home, you are probably actually dealing with a microclimate of zone 7...if I were you, I would collect seedless varieties that are good table grapes, and maybe a couple of vines that make good juice/preserves as well...you'd cover all the bases!
 
Jennifer Smith
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Location: Zone 5
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Allison Rooney wrote:
You can get away with alot more with grapes than you think.  If you live in zone 6, but can plant a grape arbor over the southwestern corner of your home, you are probably actually dealing with a microclimate of zone 7...


This is the type of stuff I pour thru looking for, info on making/recognising micro climates

So far everything is still in pots and I am thinking of cutting the bottoms out of them and then burying them, small raised beds?  How does this sound to you all?
 
Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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beautiful pictures..

we started picking some grapes today, way way early here for grapes...
 
Kay Bee
Posts: 471
Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
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Lots of info on the growing and propagation of grapes at the site below:
http://www.bunchgrapes.com/index.html

I spoke with him recently and will be getting back in touch when I am ready to put orders in for about 8-10 different varieties.  I can't think of a better consultant to ask about which varieties would do best in Oregon
 
Jennifer Smith
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Thank you for the link SouthEast Farmer.  I am reading it now and I know I have a lot to learn about a lot of things... grapes happen to be something I need to learn more about and fast.  I have several baby grape plants in small pots and one larger one, in a larger pot.  I think there is a correlation there.  All are from the same mother plant, cut at the same time.
 
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