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Muscadine grapes

 
pollinator
Posts: 919
Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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Is anyone growing muscadine grapes in zone 5 or 6? It seems like the extra diseasw resistance would make growing them without fungicides easy?

How do they taste? Some descriptions make them sound too sweet.

 
gardener
Posts: 5833
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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We grow muscadines from wild varieties we found growing on our land but we are in zone 7b-8a.
Some of our vines are over 30 feet long but these are way up in dead trees and that fruit is for birds and squirrels.
This is mostly from the zone we are in, they get about 16 hours of sun in mid summer which allows the vines to go crazy with growth.
We have around 20 vines that I am pruning along with clearing spaces around them for sun to hit them all through the day, this is what makes the grapes sweet, to much shade will produce a small, bitter grape.
This year I discovered some wild grape vines growing beside some newly found muscadine vines.

Treat a muscadine or scuppernog vine just like you would any other grape and it will give you good fruits which make a nice wine.
muscadine skins are thick and tough, so they are best when peeled. Like any grape, some will be sweeter than others.
The one thing that differs a muscadine from a "regular" grape is that they don't form in large bunches.

The better your soil is, the better the muscadine will grow and the sweeter it can become.

My wine grape vines are in far poorer soil than my muscadine vines are in, both are growing nicely and giving us decent fruit.

Redhawk
 
pollinator
Posts: 836
Location: Virginia USDA 7a/b
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If you have wild grape vines see if they have muscadine characteristics. I bet you have them. They are super easy to grow. Mine have gotten hammered by the deer and are still happy.

Like Bryant some are in trees, others are just looking for hosts. I'm doing a mix of traditional and arboreal trellising. Grapes are confidence boosters!
 
Ken W Wilson
pollinator
Posts: 919
Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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The only wild grapes I know of are at least 40' up. I only see the stems after they fall. I guess after something eats the grapes. I used to find them when I was a kid. Made the best jam.

Maybe I'll look more.

Thanks!
 
Posts: 25
Location: South Shore, Massachusetts, USA (Zone 6b)
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Hoping to revive this discussion a bit:

I'd also be interested to hear if anyone has successfully grown muscadines or scuppernogs in anything colder than zone 7. I grew up in Georgia and would always go pick and eat the wild muscadines growing here and there. Wonderful memory and I can still smell the strong fragrance in my mind!

I haven't tried growing any here in zone 6, but maybe it's worth a try!
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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I grew them in Newburgh, N.Y. when I lived there. (Zone 5a)
As winter approaches just fashion a bin around the main stem and fill with dead leaves, don't pack the leaves in just fill it loosely then fashion a cover so the leaves will stay dry (this prevents rotting of the vine over the winter months).
Once vines are well established (about 4 years old) they will survive most winters as long as the ground remains moist, that way the roots are less prone to freeze damage.

Redhawk
 
steward
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Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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I do not know what kind they were but one of my aunts collects wild grapes along the Missouri river in Pierre So. Dakota. It gets pretty cold there in the winter.

I really should have her send me some plants or cuttings!
 
pollinator
Posts: 141
Location: Missouri Ozarks
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I'm in 6b and have some muscadines. I enjoy the flavor and their disease resistance (I have trouble getting much out of most other grape varieties here). I do have winter damage in cold years though. It got down to  minus 5 last winter, and some of them are okay and some may not have made it, I don't know for sure because some are just starting to grow, extremely late. Even the ones that look the best have some tip dieback. The ones that seem hardiest are on an arbor make of cedar rather than the wire trellising or fencing the others I have are, and are also near some trees (but still get a good 6-8 hours of sunshine during the growing season). I have done nothing special to protect any of them.

Another thing I've noticed with muscadines here is that pruning too early is very bad for them, I've pruned dormant plants that looked like they had healthy cambium only to have the stems split later during a relatively minor cold spell (low/mid 20s) and the plants die back severely, or even die completely. At this point I'm waiting to prune them until well into April just before growth begins. i know that's different from what the literature says about optimal pruning time, but it works better for me.
 
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