Think we need a grape thread for 2017. Seedless Concord are heavy this year! They are ripening slower than normal. How are your grapes doing?
My grapes are to better this year because I have a better understanding of there care and have been giving them a little more attention. Out of all the table grapes I have tested, Somerset is emerging as a winner. They are almost ripe!
Japanese Beetles are still very active here. I’m to close to harvest to spray Sevin. I ordered some Diatomaceous Earth that should come tomorrow.
Please explain again why seedless varieties have seeds here in Kansas?
Some of my Fredonias are starting to turn purple already. I’ve only grown them for a few years, but this seems really early. Some of the clusters are really tight, and it seems like the squeezed grapes are the ones starting to turn. I’m a little concerned about this. I’ll try to take a picture tomorrow. I might get to try some Swenson Red this year. Concords seem on schedule.
Here is a shot taken under my arbor of my Concords back on the last day of June when they were still green. These are hanging below supporting wires where they can be easily sprayed and are within easy reach for picking. Having the thickness pruned out helps in that regard. Otherwise the grapes get all tangled up making the grapes difficult to work with.
Went to a friend’s yesterday. His ‘Mars’ are 90-95% ripe. First time I ate a Mars. Excellent. Tones identical to Concord but much earlier ripening & seedless. Also tried ‘Reliance’… wow interesting flavor. Super spicy. Tasted like dashed with nutmeg.
Pink Reliance and Red Candice are both nice grapes.
The harsh weather makes some Kansas seedless grapes develop seeds. Seedless Concord is one of them that will always develop seeds in a harsh environment. Some will say it’s warmth only but it’s any extreme weather. See this article Seedless Grapes I also get trunk injury on my red Canadice.
I’m glad you created this thread because I haven’t had much to brag about this year, but grapes are the exception…mine are larger than they have ever been and there are more of them. Last year’s crop was a 100% lost due to the first arrival (after 3-4 years) of brownspot and me not knowing how to deal with it. Thanks to @scottfsmith , this year I gave several immunox treatments and like magic, my grapes and leaves look perfect. I’ve had to fight Japanese Beetles like crazy with Sevin, but I’ve kept them at bay. The birds are bad but actually I have plenty of grapes for them AND for me! I have 6 varieties. My favorite are the Pink Reliance that @clarkinks mentioned above! WOW those things are soooo good!!! And I’m also a fan of plain old concord grapes. Catawba are similar and also good.
For absolutely no good reason at all, this year I ran a 3rd wire that was almost 10 feet tall! It was so far above my prior top wire that I had to run some vertical wires for the grapes to reach the top one. But reach it they did, and it was really fun seeing them way up in the air like that. But they did so well (aka I did such a poor job installing the wire) that it collapsed a couple weeks ago. But the grapes ripened up anyway so no major harm done.
Anyway, I’ve had a lot of fun with grapes and glad to see others have as well.
Catawba ripen late here and get a lot of insect pressure but I agree they are great tasting grapes. I never get many of them in good shape. Concord with seeds are my favorite juice grape! For seeded grapes those are great choices!
Never had a Japanese beetle problem like I did this year. Can’t explain why either I leave my moles alone to eat them in the grub stage. They came out of nowhere this year. All winter there were no signs of JB grubs so they must have came from elsewhere.
Catawba are a later here to, but really not a lot later…I’d say just a couple weeks. I sort of like that because it spreads my harvest out longer. Hey…I have a question for you…my reliance grapes were almost seedless this year. They just had tiny little specs in them. I don’t think that is usually the case but I just don’t remember for sure. Are your Reliance grapes seedless by chance? If not, can you think of any reason why this one year mine would be seedless (technically they do have the aforementioned specs but I think they would qualify as being called seedless). They were a pinkish grape so I’m pretty sure they are true to label and are reliance…but one never knows. What is the seed situation with your reliance grapes?
I don’t have pink reliance anymore but did for years. They were seedless like red canadice they were very high quality. There are a few like these that don’t even taste like typical slip skins. All the others e.g. Concord, mars, niagara, Glenora, etc have leathery slip skin which gets spit out when I eat them.
What do you spray your concords with? I don’t spray mine and between the Japanese beetles and rot they look terrible. Still plenty of good grapes on it though, but they are also ripening uneven. Does it typically need to be thinned?
I am soooo appreciative of that post on a few levels. One, its nice to know Reliance are indeed seedless. Either I forgot from last year or this is the first year my Reliance have produced enough for me to get. Second, its also nice to get confirmation of two things that I already thought myself: 1) almost all home-grown grapes in my area (5 of the 6 I grow along with others I’ve tasted from friends) taste quite similar and all have that characteristic you called “slip skin”. The seeds are in the middle surrounded by a little mass of flesh, and you bite down on the skin and that center flesh and seeds pops out and I swallow it and discard the skin. But most importantly, you also confirmed that pink Reliance is VERY different from the afore described slip skin grapes. Its the closest thing I’ve ever tasted to store bought grapes. I actually eat the skin and all on them- the only grape I can do that with. The birds like them better, too, unfortunately! They are also my first grape to ripen (a good thing). In short, anyone who likes growing grapes should take it from Clark (and me) and grow Reliance! Boy are they good.
@irby as someone who also used to have big problems with diseases, I assure you that if you will spray your grapes from early on (ie about as soon as they leaf out and start growing for the year) with immunox (available at Lowes) and spray them about every 2 weeks, your vines will be almost perfect- no brown spots, dead leaves, holes in leaves, etc. Same with the fruit- no more grapes with spots or 1/2 the bunch being dead and shriveled. As for Japanese beetles, you can wait until you see them and then start spraying sevin liquid. It will last about 7-10 days UNLESS IT RAINS, in which case you will need to reapply. If you see beetle damage you can spray more sevin liquid. But these 2 products have completely saved my grapes and made a HUGE impact on the appearance, quality, and quantity of fruit. Try it…this was my first year and the difference is just amazing.
Here are pictures of my Fredonia which are starting to turn purple (too early?) and my Concord which are still all green. Of note, I tried covering my Concord with a frost blanket during a spring frost and it ended up having a negative effect. Every emerging leaflet was fried. It set fruit on the second or third time leafing, while the Fredonia (uncovered) made it through the frost and set earlier. Also, the spots on the bottom of the Fredonia are from spray residue (I’m about 80% sure of this)
Usually I spray my grapes with Ferti-lome Liquid Carbaryl Garden Spray and either Hi-Yield Captan 50W or Spectracide Immunox Multi-Purpose fungicide with a sticker spreader every two weeks. I may or may not spray them with sulfur and/or copper during March.
Although I neglected to thin my grapes this year, I am a big proponent of thinning. Last year when I did not thin my Concords, they failed to ripen all the clusters on the vine. Apparently, it takes a lot of energy for the vines to ripen the grapes. I feel that the vine protected itself by not ripening all the grapes. Not thinning weakens the vine too much. I just hope that my vines make it thru this next winter okay.
Here is my Reliance grape harvest for the year off of my two vines. Oh, I guess about 10 gallons. Yes, they are mostly green, but they are edible. Each of the previous two years the raccoons have stole nearly all of my Reliance grapes. This year i was determined not to let that happen so I picked them extra early.
I put the grapes that I do not eat fresh into vacuum sealed bags for the freezer.
Although I also like flavor of Reliance grapes, the short-comings of of this vine should be pointed out. Number one, the grapes are susceptible to black rot and should be sprayed. Number two, the grapes have a weak stem attachment and therefore tend to drop off of the clusters. Number three, they do not color well. Number four, the varmints love them and will turn down everything else that is ripe even when the Reliance grapes are still green!
Well, I guess that last one was not really a short-coming.
I planted a Reliance last fall, hopefully will have grapes next year. What do you spray grapes with?