Saturday, October 15, 2011

Max and Peter (left to right) went above and beyond today, erecting this sturdy grape arbor for me

Okay, I bought a 1 gallon grape in Florida the last time we were there, that was August. It's a self fertile selection of muscadine, Vitis rotundifolia. Karen's favorite vineyard/winery in Florida grows hundreds of acres of muscadines from which they make a few varieties of sweet by pleasant wine. Muscadines grow wild everywhere in central Florida. If you had better eyes than I, you'd see them climbing and clambering through trees and undergrowth along every road. Since I have only my vision, I either have to approach my closely, or wait for fall/winter when the strings of yellow-gold leaves twining about clearly identify the vines.

The small round leaves are so distinctive that I was surprised on encountering muscadine cultivars for sale in nurseries by leaves of the more classic shape. Apparently hybridization has gone on along with selection. I chose the cultivar 'Triumph' because it is a good eating grape, because it has leaves typical of the species, and because it is self fertile, not typically the case with the species. At any rate, I can plant it this afternoon and stop feeling guilty about letting it languish in a corner of the front deck. I see its grown shoots almost 6 feet long since August.

Stefan told me that they can fruit the second year from seed so I ought to get something next. year. Actually he was, as always, a fountain of information. Apparently all of the self fertile muscadines are derived from one plant.


MulchMaid said...

Sturdy is good! I'll look forward to seeing 'Triumph' documented in future posts.

At our last house, we grew Vitis lambrusca 'Himrod' for many years at on an arbor structure attached to our deck. Between the birds and squirrels we only got a few of the grapes, but the shade was wonderful in summer.

ChrisU said...

We have had, for at least 15 years, a plant of x 'Niagra' growing about 20 feet to the right of this new arbor. I covers a fence on the west side of the deck (the end of the house faces west) Sometimes we eat grapes sometimes the birds eat them all. The arbor uses a 9 foot wide strip of land on the west side of the house that is bounded by our neighbors driveway which abuts a 2 story blank wall. It's good to put something there after 25 years!