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Nell Merionwen

Grape vine.

Could anyone suggest a variety of grape for you west facing garden. I plan to have it growing against a wall in a little courtyard type area.
I don't expect massive yields but some would be nice.
The positioning of the wall in question is a bit of a sun trap.
tahir

You need to speak to sunnybankvines, PM her?
Marches

Try a hybrid variety (they're slightly more hardy and disease resistant, but don't taste as good as European vines) or try a hardier German European vine.

Two popular varieties in England seem to be "Black Hamburg" (European - Vitis Vinifera) and "Seyval Blanc" (Hybrid - Vitis Vinifera X one of the muscadines).

There's a lot of snobbery about "Muscadine " (North American wild grapes) and Hybrid (European X Muscadine) grapes.
If you want the best flavour possible then go for a European variety. If you want hardier vines which won't be as much trouble to raise then go for a hybrid.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seyval_Blanc
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muscadines
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_grape
Chez

Apparently to get them off to a really good start, you need to plant a dead horse under them.
sean

Nah, people who collect dead horses just traditionally use planting a vineyard as their excuse.
sally_in_wales

ooh, anyone here actually got a dead horse under their grapevine? I could do with a legbone or two... Embarassed
sean

The first rule of dead horse collecting club...
Treacodactyl

Would a zebra do?
sally_in_wales

Would a zebra do?


yes, if its a nice old one with good strong legs Laughing
mochyn

Apparently to get them off to a really good start, you need to plant a dead horse under them.


Not legal anymore.
Chez

Seriously, Sally? Because I can ask at the hunt kennels up the road if you'd like. Chez

Apparently to get them off to a really good start, you need to plant a dead horse under them.

Not legal anymore.

Well no. I am *sure* that this explains the failure of the UK to become a large wine producing country in recent years.
sally_in_wales

Seriously, Sally? Because I can ask at the hunt kennels up the road if you'd like.

Seriously. We periodically get asked to replicate archaeological bone items that call for animals grown larger and older than we tend to today, often the only domesticated animal that has bone wall thicknesses heavy enough to get, for example, prehistoric style objects out of are horses that have been regularly ridden and have reached a good age- they have had time to put the bone mass down.
I can always use a few really solid leg bones.

So, don't make a special trip, but if you find yourself chatting to them in passing at any time, if they get a really old big heavy horse in, a legbone or two would be a very welcome addition to the bone stash
NorthernMonkeyGirl

.....and this is why I love reading DS threads Very Happy Chez

Okay, I'll put out some feelers. Ma's going to have to get the fallen stock chaps out tomorrow anyway. sally_in_wales

with apologies for the thread derail.... we were in the National Museum in Denmark last week, looking at the prehistoric collection, and the difference between the 'leftovers from a roast dinner' today and then are staggering, bone walls as thick as a finger in many cases, compare that to the bone in a modern beef roast or equivalent, we just don't grow animals long enough to make the bones really useful today. Its actually a huge problem for the likes of us who work on trying to understand early technology by replicating it, getting the raw materials is really difficult. oldish chris

How far north (and up) is this wall? How acidic do you like your wine? sean

Okay, I'll put out some feelers.

That's not a good image when NMG's sig mentions cthulhu.
Chez

Okay, I'll put out some feelers.

That's not a good image when NMG's sig mentions cthulhu.

Surely that would be pseudopods?
sean

You're the Elder God, you call them what you like. Wink mochyn

pseudopods?

Pseudopodia, surely.
Marches

I recently bought a Muller-Thurgau vine and it already has some tiny bunches on it (they're the size of crumbs and look like sprouts so far).
It was either that or Vitis labrusca and I had muscadine grapes the other day - they were awful so I went with Muller Thurgau - a Vitis vinifera cultivar.

Hopefully I can get some edible grapes from it.
Jamanda

Vitis vinifera grapes are the varieties used for wine making. I don't think they are good for eating. Marches

Vitis vinifera grapes are the varieties used for wine making. I don't think they are good for eating.

They're both for eating and wine making. The EU rules on making wine are actually quite authoritarian you know - French growers especially look down on hybrid or Muscadine vines.
There was even a case where an English wine producer supplemented their own grapes with ones from Argentina (Vitis vinifera still) but weren't allowed to call it wine because the grapes weren't from Europe!

Anyway, back to the point - Most grapes you buy for eating actually are Vitis vinifera. There are wine varieties, eating varieties but most can be used for both.

The wine growers in Europe look down at the Muscadines - apparently they have a poorer flavour amongst other things and they probably hate them because Phylloxera was brought on Muscadines. Ironic that it is Muscadine rootstocks which saved Vitis vinifera in the end.

I've had both Muscadine and hybrid grapes - the hybrids were alright but I found true Muscadines (it was Vitis labrusca) to be rubbish - not really much flavour - bred for large size over flavour and full of seeds.
Neutral
So I'm only bothering with Vitis vinifera or hybrids with it now. One vine is enough at the moment, I want to see how it does this far north before getting any more.
Treacodactyl

Hopefully I can get some edible grapes from it.

I grow Müller-Thurgau and the grapes are pleasantly edible, if a little small, but it's mainly grown as a wine grape. It might be best to thin them if you want them to eat. Here's an old pic of our best harvest.

Jamanda

My Mum has a muscat vine, which is a sweet wine variety, but the grapes are quite nice. Marches

Hopefully I can get some edible grapes from it.

I grow Müller-Thurgau and the grapes are pleasantly edible, if a little small, but it's mainly grown as a wine grape. It might be best to thin them if you want them to eat. Here's an old pic of our best harvest.



Wow, how many vines do you have? I'd be very pleased with a harvest like that, I'd be selling them at the gate. Very Happy

Just a question about seeds - I couldn't find out if they had seeds or not, do they and are there a lot in each grape or just the odd one?
I ask because I had some grapes the other day which were full of seeds and it kind of spoilt them a bit.
gai

We've got a dead chicken under our Black Homburg in the green house. I can't remember the grape varieties we planted in the polytunnel but they both had cat road kill under them and as a result got called by the cat's names, Cain and Abel. Cain died off in the bad winter of 2010 but Abel is flourishing. Our grapes tend to get made into grape jelly. Marches

We've got a dead chicken under our Black Homburg in the green house. I can't remember the grape varieties we planted in the polytunnel but they both had cat road kill under them and as a result got called by the cat's names, Cain and Abel. Cain died off in the bad winter of 2010 but Abel is flourishing. Our grapes tend to get made into grape jelly.

And I thought I was the only one who did that? Laughing

I have a old cockerel that died under a willow tree. That tree did very well indeed for the first two years after that.
Treacodactyl

Just a question about seeds - I couldn't find out if they had seeds or not, do they and are there a lot in each grape or just the odd one?
I ask because I had some grapes the other day which were full of seeds and it kind of spoilt them a bit.

I had three vines, two bought and one grown from a cutting - they strike very easily.

They do have seeds, IIRC about two in each one. One of the reasons I suggest thinning the grapes so you get a better flesh/pip ratio.
Marches

Just a question about seeds - I couldn't find out if they had seeds or not, do they and are there a lot in each grape or just the odd one?
I ask because I had some grapes the other day which were full of seeds and it kind of spoilt them a bit.

I had three vines, two bought and one grown from a cutting - they strike very easily.

They do have seeds, IIRC about two in each one. One of the reasons I suggest thinning the grapes so you get a better flesh/pip ratio.

I've heard that they're difficult to grow from cuttings, that a new branch is partially buried in soil and then they develop new plants that way?
I'd maybe try that myself some time. Hopefully grape vines on their own roots should be safe up here, isolated from the wine growing regions. Additional vines would be nice, I'd perhaps give one or two to friends (particularly those with a nice pergola Wink )
sunnybankvines

vines are very easy to propagate from hardwood cuttings.
bury about two to three nodes underground and have one to two above... I get at the very least a 50% strike rate - often nearer 90% on some varieties.
On diseases and vines all viniferas are susceptable to mildews - both powdery and downy - depending upon the weather conditions.
there are good seedless varieties that cna be grown outside in this country and more importantly will ripen Smile
A favourable spot as described at the beginning of the post ... you could grown seedless hybrids that are disease resistant ( and not labrusca flavoured... as some are ugh in my opinion ... but funnily enough at open days some people favour those over the muscat flavours ... so a personal thing).
Lakemont is a reliable non labrusca flavour hybrid with green seedless grapes ... there are literally lots to choose from ...
www.sunnybankvines.co.uk and I have lots of description of vines in the pdfs ... and any specifics please do email me .. I am not on the forum much ... try to get on now and again and pass on my viney experience.. ( raining outside hence here at the computer Wink)
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