If you have ever longed to grow your own fruit, growing grapes is an excellent place to start. Grapes have been cultivated for thousands of years by home gardeners around the world, and you can do it too. They’re easy to grow, and they don’t require you to be an expert gardener or own a vineyard to produce sweet juicy clusters. They are excellent for fresh eating, jams, juicing, and winemaking.
Advantages of Growing Grapes
Grapes offer unique advantages over other fruit because they start bearing fruit in just 2 to 3 years, they don’t require a lot of space, they taste so good, plus they add ornamental beauty to your landscape with their splendid fall color. Homegrown grapes have exquisite flavors, that will rival any grape found at your grocer. They are low maintenance, needing little attention, other than an annual pruning, which increases fruit yields and size. They are highly nutritious, packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals supporting eye, cardiovascular and cognitive health. Also, if you sell produce at farmers’ markets, you can add some additional cash to your back pocket, grapes bring top dollar, besides when you prune your vines, consider saving the trimmings to sell at flea markets, they are very popular for making decorative crafts.
There are two basic types of grapes, seeded and seedless, you might ask why would I want to grow seeded grapes? Well, the answer is seeded grapes will outperform seedless, with greater resistance to adverse weather conditions of heat, drought, and cold, ensuring reliable yields when growing conditions are less than ideal. Fresh Eating grapes without seeds is, of course, an advantage, you may want to consider planting some of each to enjoy the benefits that each has to offer.
Table or Wine Grapes
Grapes are further broken down into categories of table grapes and wine grapes. Table grapes are best for eating fresh, and usually much sweeter than wine grapes, which are designated mainly for winemaking. However, you can grow a table grape for winemaking or a wine grape for fresh eating, depending on you your taste preference. Also, cultivars are classified in terms of when they are ready for harvest, early, mid and late season. For example, in the upper Midwest, early-season grapes like Brianna will ripen the first part of August, Concord mid-season 3-4 weeks later, and golden Muscat a late-season grape will ripen even later. Growing grapes that ripen at different parts of the season is a great way to strategically lengthen your harvest time and enjoy fresh eating for several months.
Start Growing Grapes
Growing grapes is a rewarding experience, it is hard to compare the delight of picking your homegrown sweet juicy clusters to anything else. It just gives you that garden wellbeing feeling, you know what I am talking about, it’s growing it yourself, sustainability, less dependence on society, great tasting quality food, it’s that little piece of heaven that comes with living on a homestead!