Muscadine grapes, Vitis rotundifolia
Muscadine grapes are native to the southeastern United States. The grapes are large and round with a thick tough skin and contain up to 5 seeds. Fruit color can be greenish, bronze, pinkish, red, purple or almost black, depending on the variety. They are enjoyed fresh, and can be used to make juice, wine and jelly.
The deciduous vines can grow to 100 feet long if unpruned! In your garden, you should provide space of 20 ft long and 6 ft wide for each vine. Vines will produce best in full sun and must be planted in well-drained soil. Pests and diseases are not a problem, so these grapes are an ideal sustainable and organic crop.
Flowers appear in late April. Some varieties are self-fertile, but others need a pollinator. Grapes ripen from August to September, depending on variety and growing conditions.
Grape vines must be pruned severely every year for best fruit yields. The best time to prune is mid-January to mid-March, while plants are dormant.
The easiest method to propagate grape vines is by layering. First cover part of the stem with soil. Leave the tip of the stem exposed. Roots should form in about a month. Then you can cut the stem and dig up the new rooted plant.
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