Posts Tagged ‘grapes’
Last year, which was the third year, the grape vines covered the arbor by the end of the summer. This year the top was pretty much covered by the middle of June.
It has been wonderful having a nice shady place to enjoy lunches and dinners. The vines make such a difference in the temperatures too. We have had a very hot summer with temps hitting 104′ way too often. In the shade of the arbor though it feels at least 10′ cooler.
Better than the shade though is the abundance of grapes that are growing. Since
our arbor is 50’x10′, that is a LOT of grapes. They won’t get ripe till late August into September, but we will have plenty to eat, share and make into raisins. There are 12 grape vines now, all seedless table grapes. We have Reliance, Candice, Suffolk, Himrod and Lakemont.
One of the Candice vines turned out to be a Concord. Unfortunately it didn’t bear till last year. When we discovered it we took it out and put in a Suffolk. Cross pollination can occur between seeded and seedless grapes and eventually the seedless won’t be seedless any longer. That means we have an open area in the canopy of vines, at least till the Suffolk catches up with the others and begins to cover the top.
It looks like it’s going to be a very good year for grapes.
First of all it’s exciting that the vines have finally reached the top and are already shading the arbor area. We like to use the grape arbor like an outdoor room with it’s tables and chairs, swings and other seating areas. The deep shade the grape vines provide make the space usable all day instead of just the cool of the early morning or evening.
We had a lot of grapes last year but the vines were still young, only 3 years old. I
think we may be in trouble. There are so many tiny baby grapes up there it’s mind boggling. These photos only show a couple of square feet each. (click on the photos to enlarge if you’re unable to see well. Even click again to make them even larger). The arbor is 50′ x 10′ so that is a lot of grapes headed our way.
Even with eating tons of them, giving even more away and drying many into raisins (the best raisins in the world I might add), I think we are going to have so many grapes on our hands.
If you’re interested, we are growing all seedless table grapes – Reliance, Suffolk, Candice, Himrod and Lakemont. Besides these 10 vines on the arbor, we have 3 very old vines growing on the fence on the north side of our garden which already produce tons of grapes. We have no idea what they are since they were planted about 45 years ago, but they are white seedless and delicious.
Here are some photos of last years grapes ripening.
I failed to mention that on the two north posts we have Hardy Kiwi growing. They take a long time to begin to produce fruit, but it looks like this might be the year. There are a lot of little BB looking things up there. I’m keeping my eye on them too.
This year we hope that the grape vines will cover the top of the grape arbor so that the arbor area will be shadier and cooler. Even though the vines made it to the top last year, it will take a lot of leaves to shade our arbor, which is 50’x10′. There are 10 grape vines, one at each post, except for the Kiwi vines at the two post on one end.
Even more than the shade to look forward to though, are the many, many grapes which are growing. We got some last year, but nothing like what’s coming this year. All of the grapes are seedless, table grapes, some white and some pink or red.
Besides eating plenty and sharing a lot (we have a large family), we will dry some. They make the best raisins.
Ah, so much to look forward to. I love summer.
Okay, I’m hooked on Clematis. They have such beautiful flowers and they bloom for such a long time. I have them all over the yard and I look forward to them maturing and adding so much color to my garden.
There are so many different vines that have beautiful blossoms though, like Wisteria, Trumpet Vine, Bougainvillea, Star Jasmine, Morning Glory, Climbing Hydrangea, and Honeysuckle, just to name a few. No matter what climate you live in, you can have beautiful, flowering vines.Vines can grow on fences, on porch posts and railings, on arbors, against the side of the house or garage, over a pergola or even up into the trees and tall shrubs. Since vines use different methods of climbing, it’s important to know how they grow, to know what they can grow on.
- Twiners – As they grow, their stems wrap around whatever they are climbing on. Good examples of twiners are Wisteria, Clematis and Morning Glory. Twiners can grow on fences, lattices, post and in trees.
- Tendrils – These vines have little threadlike tendrils that curl around the support. Sweet Peas climb by tendrils. They can grow on chain link fencing, netting and into trees and tall shrubs.
- Rootlets– To hold fast to their support, these vines have little pads of roots that attach to whatever it is climbing. They can climb on bricks, masonry, tree trunks, rocks and wooden post. Climbing Hydrangea is a vine that uses rootlets to support it’s great weight as it climbs.
Some flowering vines are delicate and light (such as Clematis) while others can get very heavy (Climbing Hydrangea for instance), and grow to be very large. By doing a little research, it will be easy to put just the right bloomers in just the right place in your garden. Just between you and me…you can’t go wrong with Clematis though. Some stay small while others can grow 20′ or more. Once you have one blooming in your garden, you’ll be trying to make room for more…and more.
Get out those catalogs (you did order yours, didn’t you?) and have a look at the variety of beautiful, flowering vines for your garden. Check out post http://wp.me/p1OXDF-Ub for info on ordering gardening/plant catalogs.
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Don’t you think so? When we bought this old house (built 1914) it already had some really old, established vines on the fence north of our yard. Really good grapes too. Three vines, 1 seeded and 2 seedless. We ate all we wanted, shared with others and still had plenty left over. So we made raisins out of the seedless ones and juiced the others. Oh my, what good raisins those were.
We had a very sturdy arbor built across the back of the property so we could grow grapes and have the beautiful shade that grape leaves make. The arbor is 50’x10′ and 9′ tall on one, 8′ on the other (our lot slopes). So that means there are 12 (6″x4″) posts. Beside each one we planted a vine. Two of them on the north end have Kiwi and the rest have grape vines, all seedless but 2 of five different varieties. They were planted in Spring 2009 and by Sept.2010 they had made it to the top. This year they are crisscrossing the top and we are beginning to see what it will eventually look like. This year about half the vines produced grapes and 3 of those vines had abundant crops of about 15-20 large bunches each. Looks like we’re going to have a LOT of raisins.
My dream is to be under the shady arbor and just being able to reach up and pick grapes when I want to (see picture below). Mmm Maybe next year.
Amazingly, around here there are so many concord grapes growing that nobody does anything with. They are happy to let us pick and so we do. They make the best dark purple grape juice. We use a juicer like I’ve never seen before but you may be familiar with it. It is a large pot with several layers. In the bottom is boiling water, above that a well to catch the juice and above that a perforated pan to hold the whole grapes. The steam forces the cells in the fruit to burst, releasing the juice which is caught in the well. There is a sort of spigot on the side to drain the piping hot juice into hot sterile bottles. You should smell the kitchen when this is going on. Welches?