I am masochist so ...GROWING GRAPES


I am thinking of dabbling in trying to grow some EATING grapes.

The only thing I know about grapes is that when I get a good one it is heaven. I seem to prefer green seedless but at the supermarket you get no clue as to the variety and they do look the same. So from trip to trip you get a totally different experience.

So … does anyone know of a fairly bullet-proof green or red eating variety that should do well in z5b in NY


Its the opposite of your criteria but i miss concord grapes so much! The house i grew up in upstate ny had an old crazy vine. We never did anything to it and it was always loaded with delicious grapes


I’ve always liked the taste of concord over any other. its got just the right balance of sweet, tart and acidity. makes the best grape juice/ jam. unfortunately our summers are so short, we don’t always get to eat them. if a frost hits early, they rot before ripening. last year i picked 2 5 gal. pails of them, this time of year. they were just getting soft and a little wrinkly . perfect for juice and jam! I’ve heard good things about marquette. its supposedly similar to concord but earlier ripening and more hardy.


Im pretty sure that the niagara interlaken himrod and marquis were all bred up near you and all make really good fresh eating green grapes. I think it would be a good climate for it you would want to maybe do beneficial nematodes as protection against phylloxera?

If you want seedless green I would say Faith or Hope from the U Ark. program. At least I think those are the two green ones… They are reasonably disease-resistant and taste more like the California grapes than the older varieties.

You should not need to worry about phylloxera, it is too cold there. Zone 8 or so and above need to worry about that.

I have some somerset seedless if you want some cuttings. Early maturing, pink color, sweet strawberry-ish flavor, and bullet-proof (vs. cold and disease).

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Thanx to all for the offers and suggestions.

I am now embarking on my mission to learn at least just enough not to become a total failure at this.

  1. What time of the year is the best time to plant?
  2. What soil prep might be needed?


Here is a link that describes the process of rooting cuttings: Grapevine Cutting Sales by Lon Rombough | bunchgrapes.com | Information | Rooting of Cuttings

I did not do much by way of soil prep, but I probably thew a few shovels of compost into the hole that I planted them. I guess it depends on what your soil is lacking.

Mike, at first I thought you were on the wrong forum, but with the kind of year I had this summer, masochism is required for growing fruit. Still feeling it, Chikn.:sob:


In keeping with our unofficial motto of…“WHY JUST DO IT WHEN YOU CAN OVERDO IT?” …

I saw a recent Utube video by STEFAN SOBKOWLAK ( I reccommend you watch his take ) in which he allows grape vines to grow onto the trees which act as support.

As some of you know, I grow my trees as espaliers. My espalier trellises are a perfect skeleton to support the grapes.

SInce my orchard is NOT on a permaculture method and I do spray ( something along @Alan 's schedule), I was wondering if the sprays that grapes need are in simpatico with apples, pears and stone fruit?
I can easily plant the grapes intermingled withe the fruit trees




UNH Durham has a seedless grape trial which Ive visited several times. They like Canadice, Mars, Tomcord.

Depends on the type of grape. Myclobutanil is very effective in the prevention of bunch rot in seedless grapes and a single spray at two weeks after apple petal fall is often enough to get sound bunches of fruit- include an insecticide in the mix and you are probably good to go. Seems to work for concord types as well, but

I have a client trying to grow wine grapes and they require a lot more input, apparently.

Keep an eye on development of fruit and if you start to see black spots on them spray again with myclo.

Then if you can keep the birds, bees and others off of them you should get a crop. Before I was consumed with other fruit to manage I used to wrap bunches with individual socks made out of nylon stockings- the cheapest I could find. During droughts animals would sometimes use the stockings to help them juice the grapes.

I manage grapes for one of my clients- a couple of seedless types including Candadice. She gets grapes most every year. I usually spray them AT apple petal fall and then again 10-14 days later with the same mix I’m applying to her apple trees. Sometimes I only do the later spray.

Permaculture doesn’t necessarily mean the exclusion of synthetic spray by my def, although that seems to be the current consensus. It is highly possible that sustainable agriculture will require synthetic intervention. It requires a couple of centuries to begin to prove sustainability.

That said, grapes are one of the few fruits that can be grown commercially using organic methods in the northeast- even before the advent of Surround.


Hey Moose71, Try Bluebell. Very concord like. Much more hardy. Perhaps 2 weeks earlier or so (only 2 years experience so far).

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im torn between bluebell, marquette and king of the north. all have what in looking for but i only have room for 1. i definitely need a concord type grape that ripens early. concord doesn’t fully ripen in some years here, before the frosts zaps them.

What is your usual thaw period and this years? Usual last frost and this years? Usual first frost and this years?

Then can compare to my growing season.

first frost this year’s and usually late sept, killing frost early oct. last frost date is usually 1st week of june. this year was 2nd week of june. I’m in z3b. the concords usually fully ripen when the 1st. killing frost is mid to late oct.

I think bluebell will be marginally too late for you. Last frost here usually beginning May with first frost late sept to beginning oct. Sounds like we get 3 or more weeks growing season here. In good years you will be fine but in others they might not ripen in time. Could always plant 2 types say 4’ apart and test. You will know in 3-4 years then just pull out the looser.

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If I let the grape vines use the tree scaffolds for support, do you think that the grape leaves will create too much shade for the apples, pears, stone etc. to mature well?


I think you should keep grapes separate. The point is to insure as much light as possible to reach leaves near fruit, whether grapes, peaches, apples or whatever. Especially in our relatively northern sun.

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University of Wisconsin did a seedless grape trial starting in 2007 and reported their results in 2012. Seedless Table Grape Report – West Madison

Madison is probably Zone 5a/4b. So their varieties should be plenty hardy for Zone 5b.

I selected Lakemont and Reliance from that report based on availability from local sources last year and am going to train them on an arbor as an entrance to my backyard orchard.