I would like to try growing grapes this spring. I have never grown grapes before. Does anyone have any recommendations on which variety to grow? mostly fresh eating variety.
Are you in NJ? Humid areas need different grapes than dry.
Yes I'm in North Western NJ.
That should be an easy question but it isn't. Most people want seedless; if you don't care about seeds the answer is easy, get a Swenson Red. But for seedless there is no good answer. Reliance, Canadice, and Jupiter are some of the better ones, but none of them taste like store grapes and there is no uniformity of like for any of the three. My personal favorite is Jupiter. If you want to take a risk the new Arkansas grapes are supposed to be very good: Hope, Faith, Joy, Gratitude. They are new enough that I have not heard a first-hand report from anyone here.
Thanks Scott!! Are they self fertile? Do I need two plants of each or two different Varieties? And what kind of diseases control do I need to prepare for?
They are self-fertile, one plant is all you need. The primary disease problems are black rot and downy mildew. The former is the worst but takes about five years to build up to a bad level. I use one spray of myclobutanil (Immunox) once per year when the shoots are about 1' long and thats usually good enough. Birds will likely eat all the fruits so they need to be bagged or the whole vine netted. You also need to prune down to about one bud per every two inches of row during the early spring.
Overall its not a lot of work compared to most fruit trees.
I have found the link below to be an amazing resource for grapes. We have a backyard vineyard, and lived in the low dessert. I searched the database for grapes originating from countries with our same climate. They grew and produced easily.
Your local big box stores should sell grapes that grow locally, but you can read about the varieties members here recommend at this link!
Here is a link that might be useful: National Grape Registry
Desert dance, that list focuses on vinifera and none of those are good for backyard growing in the east. We have far fewer good options out here.
If you want a good general guide for east coast grape varieties I would look at the Double A Vineyards catalog.
I think Double A responds to new grape growers with enthusiasm and they send you a catalogue asap. Just ordered a 'Swenson Red and a 'Hope from Double A, based on the recommendations from Scott . The trellis is already up. Mrs. G
Thanks everyone!! I will give Hope a try this spring!