Seedless grape growing

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Rodent

Rumbler of the low end
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Anybody else here growing seedless grapes for fresh eating and/or making raisins?

I planted three varieties at our previous home, but moved the year following planting so never got to bring those vines to maturity or see a harvest.

At our new place we purchased our initial three cultivars (1 vine each) and kept them potted until I could get the location readied for planting. Life happened and this prep work didn't get done until this spring, but those potted grape vines grew quite a bit in their larger sized pots. These got planted this year along with 1 each of five other seedless cultivars and the beginnings of our 'table grape' vineyard are well underway.

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Those three formerly potted holdovers are really taking off, and have each set a couple clusters. I know these should be pruned off so the vines will focus on establishing a robust root system, but I'm likely going to keep a couple clusters on each to ensure they produce the variety I purchased them as. I also have room for one additional cultivar in the support system, so if one of these fail to grow this year, I'll replace it with a cultivar on my wish list but that I couldn't find in stock anywhere

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Varieties growing in our vineyard as of early summer 2023:

- Jupiter (black)
- Neptune (green)
- Canadice (red)
- Flame (red)
- Marquette (black)
- Marquis (green)
- Einset (red)
 
I opted for orchard over wine grapes given our location, limited acreage, and limited irrigation rights.

there's still room to squeeze in some wine grapes if I wanted to, but I can readily obtain stellar grapes right from the harvest crews locally when time comes to dabble in wine making.
 
Got the two rows of 3/16" diameter support wire installed today - a super fun job to be doing when the temps are at 90F and above. The bottom row is at 42" above soil level, and is right in the typical 36"-48" height range used for a single support wire system. The upper wire is at 72" above soil line, and a bit higher than some articles mention but at the height noted by others. I based the system on this image from an article published by University of Idaho

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My new 1st year vines will get trained to this image as they grow during the next two years. The holdover potted vines will require some gentle pruning and pinch pruning this year to get them into conformance by this coming Spring.

I'll get an image posted up once the lighting is to where I can capture the support wires in an image

This support method would also work well for wine grapes in a garden with limited space, and for cultivars that have the vigor to support an extra pair of fruiting arms while still delivering large clusters of high quality grapes
 
The best seedless grapes I ever had were from my Crimson Seedless vine. Late Summer early Fall harvest here in So Cal, very prolific and super sweet. It went well for about five years and then got overrun with Glassy-Winged Sharpshooters, which did it in. They carry Pierce's disease, as a result it is hard to keep grapevines here any more.
 
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The best seedless grapes I ever had were from my Crimson Seedless vine. Late Summer early Fall harvest here in So Cal, very prolific and super sweet. It went well for about five years and then got overrun with Glassy-Winged Sharpshooters, which did it in. They carry Pierce's disease, as a result it is hard to keep grapevines here any more.
had to look those up - yikes should they ever be able to find their way into CA wine country

so sorry you lost a great producer. the cultivar is a new name to me, so I looked it up as well. based on the description I'm certain this is one of my favorite seedless grapes purchased at the produce market. USDA hardiness is listed as zones 6-10, so it just might be viable here in my zone 7 location with hot dry summers. thanks for noting this cultivar - I have it on my 2024 wish list
 
Here's the two row support system installed on the 4" posts

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the far end is secured with an eye bolt, electrical romex staples were used on the middle posts, and a turnbuckle to adjust tension is on the near post and clips into an eye bolt for easier adjustments if the wire needs to be shortened.

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Overall it wasn't expensive to build the support system ($8/pole + $6 per turnbuckle + $2 per eyebolt + $1 per wire clasp) and the 3/16" wire was leftover from a project I was working at the previous place. not sure what 150 feet of 3/16 wire runs these days, but that would be in the cost if I had to buy it

I'll get an 8' plastic garden stake tied in at each new vine so it'll have vertical support to be trained to while it's growing up to the two support wires. it'll get removed once the vine is secured up top on year 2 or 3
 
had to look those up - yikes should they ever be able to find their way into CA wine country

so sorry you lost a great producer. the cultivar is a new name to me, so I looked it up as well. based on the description I'm certain this is one of my favorite seedless grapes purchased at the produce market. USDA hardiness is listed as zones 6-10, so it just might be viable here in my zone 7 location with hot dry summers. thanks for noting this cultivar - I have it on my 2024 wish list
You will not be disappointed with Crimson Seedless in a hot dry climate. I can't speak to how they do with a humid Summer (re: mildew). If you hold back the water, which is almost certain here in So Cal, the grapes will be on the small side but off the charts sweet with some spiciness. Note that super market table grapes are overwatered and therefore less flavorful than what we can grow at home.

The goal for my home garden/orchard has been to walk out my back door and pick fresh fruit and veg any and every day of the year. We can do that here in So Cal with a bit of planning for successive ripening. Case in point, right now I have loquats, blueberries, strawberries, oranges & lemons that are still holding, kale, chard, and herbs. All fruits are on smaller trees and/or pots that are easily managed. It is easy to get overrun if you aren't a careful planner.

Good luck!
 
That will look great as it grows out. Hopefully you don't have the bird and squirrel problems I have growing grapes apparently meant for their consumption instead of mine.
 
Year two kicking off on the trellis I installed last year. I'm adding two additional trellis sections, each supporting two table grape cultivar on a dual wire setup like the initial install.

I've added two varieties this year - Sweet Seduction and Black Muscat Seedless, and have room for three additional vines thanks to losing a vine last year (it never grew, and was likely already dead when it came to my place from the nursery.

I'd love to get a Crimson Seedless based on exchanges above, but can't find a source that will ship to WA State. I'll keep searching in hopes I eventually find a source that ships here. No set plans yet for what the other varieties will be. Considering making a start each of Flame and Sweet Seduction, leaving a space for one additional TBD vine.
 
That will look great as it grows out. Hopefully you don't have the bird and squirrel problems I have growing grapes apparently meant for their consumption instead of mine.
I had a few bird issues late last year, but I think I can resolve that with some netting. Two cultivars had a significant Yellowjacket problem, so I'll be looking for creative means to reduce this issues later this year
 
Got the new drip watering system installed. Adjustable 0-18 gallon/hour emitters direct mounted to a 18mm main line run on the surface. Gave it a test run and like the initial results. Was able to deep soak at a rate around 2 gal/hr for 2-3 hours without any runoff.

If this holds for the summer I'll be most happy - no more endless hand watering!

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Here's the emitters in case anybody is looking to use these for your place. The pipe puncture tool is self-centering, and the black alignment shield retracts as the point creates the hole. These were chosen after consulting on my needs with the tech at the local Irrigation Specialists store. I'm running these at a drizzle, but the output could provide coverage for a 36" diameter if I upped the flowrate and line pressure - great for a flowerbed where broader watering is desired.

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I know zip about growing grapes. Do their root structures tend to remain localized like a ball or inverted tree form, or do they sprawl madly - like hops? If the latter, focused drip irrigation becomes less effective with each passing year as their roots radiate far from the plant...

Cheers!
 
@day_trippr Excellent point for consideration. Here's what I could find on grape vine root structures below the soil. Granted it's for a specific rootstock used for grafting wine grapes, and that different from the table grapes I'm growing that are on their own roots. I suspect the root systems are likely similar enough that this serves as a decent reference.

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(here a link if you want to read the entire article where this image came from Grape Roots article)

I'm in a silt soil that's 30+ feet deep rock-less sediment from the Great Missoula Floods, and these behave like a hybrid between clay and loam. Water tends to flow outward and downward at about equal rates. In a different location out in the orchard, I've observed that about 24" down the soil is equally damp across the entire irrigation zone.

I see most of the vineyards in our area with a similar style irrigation, or they run the lines about 24" above the soil with emitters placed on drop branches from that run. If I see there's need to additional watering, I can always add emitters between vines and adjust them accordingly. They're reasonably inexpensive, costing around $0.75/ea retail in bags of 10 pieces.

This system avoids applying water onto the leaves and grapes, reducing the potential for issues with fungus
 
Totally on-board with drip wrt conserving water while avoiding fungus, we use them extensively where they'll work.

The raised emitters likely would be the best of the options given as they could extend coverage. And roots will tend to go where they'll be happiest, so stringing the raised emitters along the row will likely result in the roots staying in "the zone"...

Cheers!
 

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