Monday, July 9, 2012

Growing Grapes at the Hancock Research Station

The UW-Extension has a well-written booklet on growing grapes in Wisconsin. When Handsome Son was nine, he and I took part in the grape pruning clinic the station holds each spring. Then, they let you take some of the clippings from which are very easy to start your own plants.

The growing system is simplistic. Two wires strung between 8' posts sunk two feet into the ground. Grapes tied up on the wires with hay bailer twine in the spring after pruning.

The one thing the pamphlet, which can be downloaded free of charge as a PDF, is not exceptionally good at is pictures showing the ideal pruning structure. I would say I have never seen this pruning style, which I refer to as the Vitruvius Man, illustrated quite as were as it is seen on these 'Mars' seedless grapes. Pictures are worth a thousand words.

They had six or so varieties growing, in order of what I would say expected yields given the hanging grapes this season of heaviest to lightest; Mars, Edleweiss, Frontenac, Blue Belle, Unknown, Othello.

You can clearly see these grapes are completely cold hardy here in central Wisconsin by the size of the main trunk on this grape, which resembles a tree rather than a vine.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the link, that book looks very good. I might check get it. Love growing grapes