I’m Charlie Nardozzi and this is
the Vermont Garden Journal. Grapes are one
of the oldest known cultivated crops, and after a warm summer, the harvest has
begun! While the center of grape growing
is in warmer climates, such as California, Italy, and Australia, with the
advent of new hardier varieties, cold climate gardeners can join the fun, too.
While making wine can be a fun home
project, I’m more interested in growing table grapes. There are many hardy, seeded
varieties around, but I think the best are the seedless cultivars.
Unfortunately, many seedless table grape varieties are not hardy enough to
survive our winters. But that’s changing. With the introduction of new
varieties from Minnesota and Wisconsin, such as ‘Somerset Seedless’, I can
spend the fall lounging on a hammock gobbling up fresh seedless grapes from
vines grown just a few feet away. Check out the University of Vermont’s cold
climate grape trials at VPR.net for more information on varieties to grow.
You don’t need a vineyard to grow a
few grape vines for fresh eating. Find a spot with full sun, well drained,
fertile soil and build some trellising for them to grow on. Prune heavily each
winter, removing up to 80 per cent of each vine, to keep your grapes from
Now for this week’s tip, late
blooming annual flowers, such as Verbena bonarienesis, are setting seed now.
Either let them fling their seed around the garden willy nilly, or collect some
for sowing in specific areas next spring.
Next week on the Vermont Garden
Journal, I’ll be talking about overwintering perennial herbs. For now, I’ll be
seeing you in the garden!