Posts Tagged ‘growing grapes’
Since our grapes have began to ripen we have had a lot of wasps under the arbor. They are getting the juice from the. grapes that have fallen. They don’t really bother anyone but many people, especially children, are afraid of them. It’s easy just to shoo them away but it is much nicer not having them there at all.
I just found out about this neat gadget that you can hang in your garden to repel wasps. Wasp are very territorial and this little lantern shaped thing looks like a wasp nest and so wasp take one look at it and take off.
I was skeptical that it would work, but thought it was worth a try. Just hung it up today and the wasps have all vanished. The juicy fallen grapes are still there but no wasps.
I got it at Lowes and there are 2 in the package. It says that it should clear an area of 200′. Now that I’m a little skeptical of. I only hung one for now though. I’m saving the other for next year in case this one doesn’t survive till then.
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.
There aren’t many sights prettier than the sun filtering down through grape leaves, with all the shades of green showing so clearly. The only thing to improve that sight, would be great clusters of grapes hanging down.
When we moved into our house 3 years ago, we planned how we would arrange the garden so that we could squeeze everything (well, almost everything) into it that we wanted. We decided to have a grape arbor across the back of the yard and we wanted it large enough to provide eating and seating areas underneath it.
Before we had the arbor built, we planted the 11 grape vines. We didn’t want to waste any time because we knew they would take time to mature and reach the top, and start producing big fat, delicious grapes. We did get a few grapes last year, and they were really good. The two posts at the north end of the arbor have kiwi vines growing up them instead of grape vines.
This year will be the fourth summer in the ground and the grape vines will be a lot more mature. It will be exciting to finally have a nice, green canopy for shade under the arbor.
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Now is the time of year to build the hardscapes of your garden, when lumber prices are down and plants are dying back for the winter.
Get creative and give your yard and garden some dimension. To check out the earlier Post on this subject just click on the search button to the right and type in “Hardscapes”. Check out this video on Hardscapes in the Garden.
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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?