Muscadines 2020


In my limited experience I have noticed my Ison (self fertile) has a long season.


Any self fertile variety should work, although I am not getting the best pollination with my late fry. My Darlene and Black Beauty have minimal fruit set. I hope Oh My will help more with the pollination next year. I don’t know if Razzmatazz can help pollinate the others or not.


My Late Fry does the same.


Just to clarify, Razzmatazz needs lots of nitrogen to continue to grow and bloom, much more than my other muscadines. I stop fertilizing in August, because of this the plant slows down and won’t have nearly the fruit load in the later months.


My Darlene has ‘returned from the dead’. I was surprised to see it leafing out near the bottom of the vine, after the top 30" or so was dead as a doornail. It has quite a ways to grow - to reach the wire!

But, now I’m considering removing it, anyway . . . after all the negative reports about the Darlene variety. @Fusion_power suggested Summit or Supreme. I’ll look into those. Perhaps we can add a post with wire - and add a new vine while we give the Darlene a chance, too.

Dixie Red is ‘moving on down the wire’ quickly. I can see it from my kitchen window, and it is rewarding to see this grapevine responding well to Greg Ison’s advice!


Darlene is easily my favorite grape that I grow it just does no produce much for me. I hope as Oh My gets larger it can help pollinate Darlene. Darlene is worth keeping and if you have more self fertile varieties than I do it may perform better.


Your Dixie Red looks like it is growing well. Hope it makes it to the end of the wire. Most of my vines didn’t get there but the ones that did made me proud. I don’t grow Darlene but I’m assuming the taste is very good. Black Beauty is my favorite but it hasn’t fruited as heavy as Lane and Supreme. Fresh taste is most important to me so BB will stay.


My Darlene produced for the first time last year. The birds got about half of them, and there weren’t a ton to begin with. So, i have a small sample size.
They were very sweet and good-sized, but not as classically muscadine-tasting as my Ison. Definitely sweeter than Ison here at my place.


I’ve got several Darlene and they are good eating and large grapes. Mine has not been nearly as productive as some of the vines but what you have to do is ask yourself what you want from them. Do you need them for wine production? If so then you gotta have a lotta grapes. Are you going to sell them? If so you need a lotta grapes. Are you gonna make jelly? Most recipes call for 5 cups of juice for a batch—easy to get. How many batches do you want to make? Do you just want some to eat? Who do you need to feed? Even with the “low” production of Darlene I took a couple of gallon bags to work for everyone to eat on and there is a at least one gallon in my freezer—maybe more. That’s off one three year and one two year vine and it was both first year production for each. No history so I’m not sure if that is what is normal for Darlene but it’s what mine did on their first year to produce. So it’s what you want it to be that decides if it is worth it or not. Just be sure and have a self fertile in close proximity.

The potential of production of muscadines can be overwhelming if you don’t have BIG plans for the fruit. When you are just starting and it sounds like what you want to try and you get one vine, then three, and maybe you need this one…or that one. I’ve ended up with 24 in 4 years time and now that mine are maturing I’m going nuts in July and August getting them all picked, giving them to friends, making jelly, etc and then deciding to make wine because I have so flipping many. One of the guys here on the forum says our motto is “why do something when you can overdo it” (Or something like that)!!!

I’m glad your Darlene is living. Muscadines are awesome plants.

My supreme today and a couple of my oldest vines on the wire:


Darlene,With what pollination?


Any self fertile varieties.


Last year 2019 I used a combination of bird netting and some sections of electric wire to protect the fruit on my muscadines. There was plenty of room for improvement. I think the first thing I needed to do was decide what was causing the most loss. Lumping these two together raccoons and opossums mostly due to their raiding habit. They appear to be my worst offenders. Birds probably get a few but when the night raiders come to visit they wait until they are ready to eat/pick and can clean a whole vine of ripe fruit in one night. About a month ago I put electric wire around most of my fruit trees which has two muscadine vines inside the perimeter. It is early but I haven’t lost any fruit. I have three more located in another section of the yard and I plan to wire those also. I will probably put bird netting over two vines for a comparison. Below is a picture of the wire. It’s not pretty but appears to work well.


I keep noodling about how to protect my muscadines from birds but haven’t landed on a design/plan.
I like your wire idea - I figure in a year or so I need to put wire around my pawpaw orchard. Never done it so not sure where to start. I don’t have electrical accessible so must be solar or battery


Great Point! I fall into the category of “Better grow a lot of different varieties to start out with . . . because some of them may never do ANYthing!”

And THAT is how I ended up with 28 pomegranate trees!@#$%^&*(!!!

I know that Fry grapes do well around here. But, I wanted to try some others.
What do I want from them???
I really just want to have grapes to eat fresh at this point. We used to go to a U-pick vineyard up the road - and my son loved that experience each fall. I wrote, here on the forum . . . that the property was sold, and the new owners plowed under the entire vineyard! My son drove out there and came back heartbroken. A childhood memory bashed! So - I’ve planted him a little vineyard of his own!

I don’t know what I’d do with tons and tons of grapes. But, I seriously doubt that I will end up with tons! The same goes for the poms. I have so many different varieties that will probably never hold onto fruit, here in this ‘bog’. But if they do???
I already have a friend with an ‘organic chicken and eggs’ business that said she will add pomegranates to her list of items that she delivers. And there is always the ‘honor’ table out at the end of the driveway! Leave a dollar - take a pomegranate.

I’m looking forward to packing up a couple boxes and sending them to relatives!

We have several country stores nearby, with local produce and dairy products . . . maybe they will be interested. ? I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it! And it could take years for the poms to regularly produce anything worth ‘advertising’!

By the Way - Your vines and grapes look great! These are only 4 years old??? Wow! I’m excited!

@TianTai - I planted a Dixie Red and a Tara on either side of the Darlene. They are both self-fertile varieties. So is Late Fry, which is not planted far away. And it is planted on the same wire as Early Fry and Fry - which are both females. I hope they will all help one another out!


Bill, how many vines do you have?


I have seven vines. Six of these get enough light to fruit heavily. Four are starting to fruit well and I’m either going to have to purchase another freezer or start giving some away. Another possible outlet is to make jelly/jam for gifts.


It’s their 5th year. They were planted in 2016 which would count as year 1 and would make 2020 year 5. They become massive plants and that Ison’s feeding schedule will see to it.


Oh boy! Another freezer!
I don’t like to waste fruit . . . but when it gets to be way too much work - (as in making jams and jellies!) - :grimacing: That never appealed to me. I’ve never even ‘put up’ tomatoes! We just eat squash till it is coming out of our ears! Same for eggplant,cucumbers, tomatoes, etc. And I like to prepare ‘gift bags’ filled with veggies for friends.


I LOVE those videos!


I’m thinking I might try to take some this year to the little farmers market we have on Saturday mornings. I have a small freezer that is half full of muscadines from last year. So I might try to sell the juice too. I dunno. There is a local garden business that might be interested in some of the fruit because they make a lot of jams and jellies for the upscale Dallas market.