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My cherimoya, shortly before it became smoothie fodder.

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June 30, 2006

Florida Grapes

I posted a while back on grapes in Florida, and tonight I found a link to this page:

Florida Grapes

Lots of great links there for grape growers in the southeast, but I was most excited to see the pages on Dunstan and Zehnder's breeding programs. This isn't easy info to come by, available previously mostly by personal contact with a handful of dedicated amateur breeders who are preserving this stuff (though Bob Zehnder himself is still around).

Grapes were the first crop I worked with, and I feel a sort of connection with them that I don't get with other fruit, even though I must admit to being rather attached to strawberries and blackberries at this point, too. Still, reading and thinking about grape breeding makes me irrationally happy.

I think I'll put this site over in the sidebar, even though it may be of somewhat narrow interest.

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At 7/05/2006 09:14:00 PM, Blogger Correy said...

One thing I love about grapes if you grow them over your windows is that in summer when it is hot they have lots of thick attractive leaves and provide great shade for a house. Then in winter the leaves are gone and the sun comes in and warms up your house..... Not to mention the grapes themselves.

At 8/24/2006 12:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We just planted three grape plants in Jacksonville Fl. The are Niagra variety. Don't know if they will give great grapes, but they seem to love the sun and water and started growing as soon as put in the ground. they were grown from clippings at the nursury. Anyone know what to expect?

At 8/24/2006 01:32:00 PM, Blogger Evil Fruit Lord said...

Disease is going to be your big problem. Niagara will be fairly susceptible to some fungal diseases, like Black Rot, but these can be controlled with sprays if they become a problem. A tougher issue is Pierce's Disease. I don't know of any truly good way to prevent it on susceptible varieties (and Niagara is susceptible) in Florida besides putting the vines in a screen house to keep the insect that transmits it away.

Still, you may get lucky...sometimes vines can go many years without PD, even in areas with lots of it around.

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