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Old 05-31-2011, 02:58 PM   #1
gregkeller
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Default Just moved and have a grape vine, now what?

Ok, so i just moved into a new house in december, and along one of our fences there was this nasty vine that my wife told me would have to come down. I told her we should wait to see what it turned into in spring. So spring has sprung here in NJ, and it turns out i'm pretty much positive this thing is a giant grape vine. It's only one vine, but it has pretty much encrusted a 40 foot fence along our back yard. I've tried to figure out what species it is, but to no avail. apparently it's tough to figure out what species of plant i've got based on leaves alone.

I guess what my question would be, is what should I be doing, if anything? I'd love to get enough grapes from this thing to brew up a 5 gallon batch of wine each year. Is it reasonable that i'll have enough grapes to make wine? If so, what should I be doing to take care of the vine? should I just let it go for the year, pay attention to it, and not change a thing? Prune leaves that look less healthy than the others? water it? starve it of water? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.



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Old 05-31-2011, 03:19 PM   #2
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I don't know about there, but here in TN. the next door neighbors would probably know what kind of grapevine it is. In any case, I would keep it, and if you can't ask and find out now from neighbors,etc. , maybe when the grapes ripen, you can post pictures on here so some of these nice people can help figure it out. Good luck.



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Old 06-01-2011, 12:53 PM   #3
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Concord used to be the most common variety of grapes grown in yards, odds are pretty good that a vine that old is going to be concord; but it could be anything.
Like PGriff said, maybe the neighbors know the variety. If not, you'll have to wait till it sets fruit to find out; if there's still doubt after the fruit ripens, call your county extension agent. In the meantime, you might read this book:
http://www.amazon.com/Vines-Wines-Complete-Growing-Grapes/dp/1580171052
Regards, GF.

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Old 06-01-2011, 08:40 PM   #4
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as for care. You can find a good amount of info here.

http://winegrapes.tamu.edu/grow/grapegrowing.html

They take a lot of work, but if you can run a cordon the length of the fence, I can see you getting a few gallons out of it. If you care for it properly, it could be a great looking and delicious yard ornament.

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Old 06-01-2011, 09:06 PM   #5
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I've never seen "fence row" grapes produce as well as a maintained arbor. I doubt if you'll get much this year.

Without seeing them, I'm going to say you'll want to thin them out a little this summer, then trim them up in the spring before they bud. You should start getting better grapes next year, unless it was a seed from a hybrid grape the bird deposited there.

Good luck, we are trying to get grapes started here but we have plenty at mom's on the home farm. It would've been nice to have an established stalk when we bought this place..... someday......

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Old 06-02-2011, 09:11 PM   #6
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Expectations wise... 5-gallons is a LOT of wine from 1 vine.... You are talking approximately 10-gallons of grapes..... which is more than your average vine will produce....

New Jersey (Rutgers University) has a pretty good Agricultural extension service... They do have a website - and even have local County offices.... Check in the phone book or ask about the extension service at your favorite mom and pop's nursery.....

They will have specific recommendations for how to properly trellis it, fertilization, pruning, etc....

Pruning is critical to get grape vines to bear properly..... Pruning is usually done either late fall or late spring right before it buds out.... Don't prune now - you want the vine to store up lots of nurtients and energy for a really strong start....

I would start with a visit to the local extension office....

Thanks



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