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Grapes are grown for fresh eating, juice, jelly or wine. Seedless grapes are preferred for fresh eating or for raisins. Grapes have good vigour to cover trellis rapidly with thick foliage, perfect for adding some green to a home landscape. Grapes many laterals can easily and quickly spread over a fence, wall trellis, pergola, etc. The fruit from ornamental type grape varieties is more for show not yield and taste. As a result the fruit from these varieties may not be suitable for eating or winemaking.
Grapes should be grown in full sunlight. They can be successfully grown in locations where peaches and sweet cherries will survive the winter and where tomatoes or sweet corn will mature. Well drained sandy loam soils are best for grapes. Clay soils delay maturity of crops and vines, while sandy soils advance maturity. Remember that grape plants are vines and require support usually on a post and wire trellis. Grape vines must be pruned different from fruit trees. Most home gardeners do not prune their grapes hard enough. Pruned grape vines will "bleed". This causes concerns to home gardeners but it is a good sign and the "bleeding" will stop.
Large, seedless, green (white) early. The most winter tender of the seedless grapes grown in this area. Red colour or darker. Seedless and hardy. High quality. Good for fresh eating, juice, jelly or wine.
How to buy fresh Grapes?
Most table grapes available in food stores are of the European type, grown principally in California and Arizona. Only small quantities of Eastern-grown American-type grapes are sold for table use.
European types are firm-fleshed and generally have high sugar content. Common varieties are Thompson seedless (an early, green grape), Red seedless (an early, red grape), Tokay and Cardinal (early, brightred, seeded grapes), and Emperor (late, deep-red, seeded grapes). These all have excellent flavor when well-matured.
American-type grapes have softer flesh and are juicier than European types. The outstanding variety for flavor is the Concord, which is blue-black when fully matured. Delaware and Catawba are also popular.
Look for: Well-colored, plump grapes that are firmly attached to the stem. White or green grapes are sweetest when the color has a yellowish cast or straw color, with a tinge of amber. Red varieties are better when good red predominates on all or most of the berries. Bunches are more likely to hold together if the stems are predominantly green and pliable
Avoid: Soft or wrinkled grapes, or bunches of grapes with stems that are brown and brittle; these are the effects of freezing or drying. Also avoid grapes with bleached areas around the stem ends (indicating injury and poor quality), and leaking berries (a sign of decay).
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