Thursday, February 5, 2009

Great Grapes

If you’re thinking about planting table grapes in your Front Range home garden, good thought. They require little care, don’t require much space because they grow vertically, and can be very productive. Everybody in this area thinks of the very reliable Concord variety, but there are alternatives. Other seeded types include Niagra (White Concord), Steuben and Golden Muscat.

I personally prefer the seedless types and really enjoy the harvest from my Himrod vine (pictured above). It’s a white grape. Other seedless types shown to perform well in Colorado State University tests are two whites, Interlaken and Lakemont, and the red grape Suffolk Red. Hopefully the new purple St. Theresa Seedless from Plant Select® will become more widely available and planted over the next few years (photo left used with permission).

Grapes are easy to start from purchased plants, or started from a friend’s rooted cane. Root by lightly scoring and burying the middle of a cane leaving the tip with leaves out of the ground (layering). By midsummer, the middle of the cane has usually rooted. Simply cut the attachment to the main vine and transplant the rooted tip to your garden. Grow on a fence or arbor and enjoy a grape harvest in three to five years.

Although written from a commercial grower perspective, the CSU Extension Colorado Grape Growers Guide publication has useful information for the serious grape grower (click underlined title for pdf file that requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader).

[Himrod grape photo credit, Carl Wilson]

1 comment:

  1. I've had great success with a pink seedless variety called 'Reliance' from Miller Nursery. It's about twice as vigorous as my seedless concords, grows well (Boulder area), requires moderate water only when mulched. It's a very tasty sweet-tart table variety reportedly also good for jams. My only problem to date has been keeping the squirrels and racoons from getting them before I do! A really strong enclosed grape arbor is going up this year!