Friday, August 26, 2011

More on Grapes

Grapes at the Chicago Botanical Gardens

The 'Concord' grape vines around central Wisconsin have really set on the grapes this year. In my village it is getting pretty dry. The family garden being just a tad north, 21 miles, got over an inch of rain last week. Here, just spit. Even my shrubs are feeling the hurt. After all the rain in May, June, and July, it is odd to see them drooping or losing leaves prematurely because of the lack of moisture. I have started to drag out my hoses.

Big juicy grapes need plenty of sunshine and plenty of moisture to reach their potential sweetness.

In the family garden, I underplanted them with squash. It was a great idea as we were having an issue with weeds and it really kept the weeds from growing there. As we had plenty of rainfall, moisture was not an issue.

So, in addition to watering, if needed, and they need it here in my yard; I typically prune some of the leaves off the plant that are shading the grape bunches overmuch. I keep in mind that as the grapes begin to ripen they also become tempting to birds trying to load up on calories to make their fall migrations. I don't want to make the grapes too accessible.

Something that reminder me about this fall leaf pruning was some television show. Two men were having a conversation, I think it was some crime drama. Between them were these mature, perfectly grown and pruned grapes strung on wire between posts. Hanging from them were bunches, and I mean loads of bunches, of grapes. This wasn't some prop, a product of Hollywood's imagination, and the fact that they were properly grown was incidental to the scene itself.

I do know if the gardener was the "perp" for which the investigator was looking, that the gardener was so methodical, that he would never have been caught!

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