Sensational Seedless Grapes

Grow seedless grapes and fill your pantry with luscious jams, jellies, juices, raisins, wines and vinegars. Includes information on growing and drying grapes and a baked apple and raisin recipe.

| December 2003/January 2004

Learn how to grow seedless grapes, includes grape growing tips, grape diseases and pests and information on pruning grapevines.

Drying and Cooking Grapes

Dried Raisins Recipe
Baked Apples With Sunflower Seeds and Raisins Recipe

Imagine harvesting shimmering clusters of golden, honey-sweet 'Himrod' grapes; rosy-pink 'Reliance'; midnight-blue 'Glenora;' or spicy, dazzling-red 'Canadice' right from your own back yard. Unlike supermarket varieties, which taste ordinarily mild and tart, homegrown seedless grapes burst with full-bodied flavors ranging from slightly spicy to surprisingly sweet. And besides the pleasures of fresh-from-the-vine dining, you can turn these delicious seedless grapes into raisins, as well as homemade wine, juice, jelly, jam and fruit vinegar.

Grapevines are equally sensational in the landscape. Fast growing and versatile, they're wonderful for covering an arbor, gazebo, fence or trellis early each season to create a shady spot for relaxing during hot summer afternoons. The vigorous vines climb by winding their tendrils around any structure they are near, so you may need to tuck in or trim a few shoots here and there. Colorful fruit and bold, textured foliage bring added interest to the landscape in their own time.

Seedless Grapes: Get Growing

For table grapes and raisins, most people prefer seedless varieties, which are self-pollinating, quite winter-hardy and grow well in most parts of the country. Some of the best varieties are listed in the chart on Page 60 of this issue, so you can start with a single "test" vine if you want. (For the best wine-grape varieties, see Growing Grapes and Making Homemade Wine, April/May 2003.)

Grapes can grow in a wide range of soil types and conditions. For optimum growth and production they need a sunny location with good air circulation, and well-drained, slightly acidic soil (5.5 to 6.5 pH) of moderate fertility.

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