Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Grapes Are Ripe - Pictures From Bud to Grape

My back yard is enclosed by a 7 foot arbor festooned by grapes.  I never say the word “festooned”, but apparently I must “think” it. The arbor surrounds the back part of the back garden. Right now the Valiant Grape is ripe, evidenced by the 20 robins on the utility wires and post above the grapes. We usually have a pair or two nesting in the area.  But this is a gathering of the birds. This year I am giving away most of the Valiant grapes. Later I will harvest another grape that produces a bigger, slip skin grape that we enjoy as pie. My recipe  for Grape Pie was one of my first blog posts.
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This is what I picked yesterday!  Let’s look at how grapes grow:
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Our last frost date is May 15. On the 23, I took this picture of the grape buds just starting. Notice the new green wood that is starting from last years wood.  In late winter or very early spring I go out and trim back the vines. Since I grow the grapes for privacy I have let the vine sprawl out.
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By June 6 you can see the green wood getting longer and the grape getting bigger.
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By August 16 the grapes are looking beautiful!
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Valiant grapes  next to an unknown green grape that ripens late in September. Years ago I took cuttings of this green grape, with permission, from a vacant home. Cutting taken in the fall root very easily.
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A view from the alley behind my garden. Last year we harvested about 100 pounds!  For bigger better grapes, it is recommended to trim the vines in the summer. I let most of the vines just grow, trimming the vines inside the garden for neatness.  This summer we had 5 hail storms. I think the excess vine protected the grapes. 
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The robins are still enjoying the grapes I leave on the vines.  I think we have less grasshoppers. I think the robins like a little meat with their fruit.

27 comments:

  1. I love watching grapes grow, and really miss having them here, but hopefully next year we'll get some planted. My neighbors have some growing over an arbor, but the birds apparently get the lot! At least your robins seem willing to share! Now I'm off to check out your grape pie recipe, I'm intrigued!

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  2. I think you may have us beat with five hailstorms! We had about three or so hailstorms this summer.
    Your grapes look so plump and delicious, so kind of you to share them with others.
    I need to look into trying to grow grapes. I am not sure of their requirements etc.
    I have never eaten a grape pie. Sounds heavenly!

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  3. The grapes look great. My neighbor is growing grapes on the other side of my fence - it's okay, just so the vine don't take over my plants.

    Every so often I see a little bunch of grapes on my side - do you think they're mine?

    Eileen

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  4. Oh Gloria,

    What a beautiful crop! I love how you save some for the robins :-)

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  5. That is a lot of grapes! It brings back childhood memories of my mother making grape jelly -- which we then ate all year long. Yum! -Jean

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  6. Wow, impressive Gloria. I love those long arbors. It tells of some serious gardening by a talented gardeness. Love the robin bath too.

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  7. Gloria - what an amazing bumper crop from your garden! It makes my mouth water just looking at it!

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  8. Those are some gorgeous grapes! Our last frost date is the same as yours, even though I'm in zone 5b. I've never looked into growing grapes. I want to now that I've seen yours. I did plant some raspberries this spring, and they keep wanting to produce this year, even after taking some blooms off to prevent it. The plants seem to be growing well, so I am letting a few raspberries form.

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  9. wow Gloria that is some harvest of grapes. It must be wonderful to just be able to pick them direct from the vine. I've only ever tasted supermarket ones so I'm sure the taste of yours is far superior.

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  10. That's awesome!!! I can't believe you harvested 100 lbs!!! Way to go!!!

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  11. Hi, Gloria!
    I'm back from vacation and catching up on your blog. Came home to find a grasshopper INDOORS. Geez. There is just no escaping those hungry buggers!

    PS: Love your luscious grapes!

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  12. Wow look at all those grapes. They make me think of my recent trip to the Okanagan, there they grow grapes to make wine. I will have to try your pie recipe, I've never had grape pie.

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  13. what yummy looking grapes and I just adore the photo of the robins taking a bath.

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  14. Hi Clare, any concord type grape works great for this pie -

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  15. Rosey, I think we have similiar growing conditions. There are several very hardy grapes that do well

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  16. Eileen, my neighbor helps himself to my grapes. I'm ok with it. Grapes really do produce in abundance.

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  17. Noelle, I love that the robins also eat the over abundant grasshoppers

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  18. HI Jean, yes I did up lots of jam and some pancake syrup!

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  19. Hi Grace - I love the term "gardeness" you have the best words! and you know how to turn them!

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  20. Shyrlene - Thank you - I have other grapes varieties that are almost ready to pick

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  21. Hi Sue - I love growing raspberries and the birds leave them alone. The plants are tough and spread to my joy

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  22. Rosie, Alas the store varieties taste better. These have seeds - but I can use these without having to buy them at the store or worry if they were sprayed with pesticides

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  23. Hi Kate, so glad you had a nice trip! I have been so busy with canning and since it is cooler actually doing some indoor, neglected chores. I am posting tommorrow morning. This is I think the longest I have ever gone w/o a post.

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  24. Melanie, do try my pie recipe and let me know what you think. If the birds don't beat me to them I should have enough for several pies. I freeze them unbaked and what a treat when later I baked one up! Somethings are worth the work!

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  25. Hi Catmint, Our days are getting shorter. I'm glad for the cooler weather although it was at least 90 degrees today, but it cools at night.

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  26. Oh, Gloria ... I am so jealous! What luscious grapes! Your arbor looks fabulous. Great harvest so far. I love your hummer shots too. ;>)

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