Growing Concord grapes in NE GA

neptune24July 9, 2011

I recently planted some Concord grapevines, and they're already growing like weeds almost. But I've heard that they may not be the best bet for Georgia. Does anyone on here have any experience with growing Concords? Can you at least expect a reasonable crop in N. Georgia? Thanks for any info.

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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

It is not concord grapes, but table grapes in general are a challenge because of something called Pierces Disease. It can kill a plant in a few years. My friend thought up a great solution. She plants her grapes and takes cuttings to root. So every 2 years she puts new vines in the ground in a new place. Her harvests are very abundant, and when a vine does in 2-3 years the new one is fruiting heavily anyway!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 12:04PM
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neptune24

girlgroupgirl wrote:

It is not concord grapes, but table grapes in general are a challenge because of something called Pierces Disease.

Well, I had heard that Concord grapes in particular don't ripen evenly in hot summers, but I don't know anyone personally who has them in the South.

She plants her grapes and takes cuttings to root. So every 2 years she puts new vines in the ground in a new place. Her harvests are very abundant, and when a vine does in 2-3 years the new one is fruiting heavily anyway!

That's definitely smart! Thanks for sharing that tip.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 6:28PM
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trivedi_south(8)

I have been harvesting really sour grapes for last several years.

This year, the grapes were fairly less sour (some even sweet) because possibly now I know *when* to pick the grapes (?).

The skin gets a bit tough.

This year I harvested all the grapes, juiced them and made jelly. I have three jars (only) of jelly after juicing maybe loads (and loads) of grapes.

All this on a VERY poorly maintained grape vines. I have no clue on how to stake them and this year for the first time I have leafs that have lots of holes in them....maybe it is the Pierces Disease that is finally coming to my grapes(?).

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 1:11PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

I think Pierces just shrivvels the vines. My friend has her grapes growing all over her deck railings. It's beautiful.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 2:05PM
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neptune24

trivedi_south wrote:

I have been harvesting really sour grapes for last several years.

Thanks for the info. You're growing them in zone 8? Wow, I didn't know they would even survive there. The fact that you're getting any grapes at all is pretty great.

This year, the grapes were fairly less sour (some even sweet) because possibly now I know *when* to pick the grapes (?).

Could be. Have they been ripening fairly evenly?

maybe it is the Pierces Disease that is finally coming to my grapes(?).

I hope not.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 10:39PM
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trivedi_south(8)

Thank you Neptune. I pretty much ordered the grap vine from a catelog that said grows in our zone and it has been flourishing without much help from me. I do not know anything about trimming the vines and staking them and was thinking of donating them (they base of the vine is as big as my wrist).

The grape grows in tremendous abundance but not edible (the sweet ones also had slightly tougher skin) like the store bought one. I am thinking that because they are not really sweet, the squirrels are leaving them alone but the canadian geese LOVE the grapes.

Anyone with slope in the backyard (or any slope) should be able to grow grapes. I was in Dahlonega over the weekend and they have several vineyards..no need to go to NAPA valley, go to North Georgia mountains..dahlonega..they have award winning wine, wine tasting and it is visual delight too see all those grapes growing on professional level.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 10:22AM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

The key is not the slope, it is the NORTH GA mountains. Colder winters, summers slightly different than in the middle/south GA. They can indeed grow some grapes there.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 3:01PM
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trivedi_south(8)

Grapevines need:

A growing season of sufficient length. The growing season is determined by the number of days between the last 28�F in spring and the first fall occurrence. At a particular site, the season must be long enough to allow both the fruit and the vegetative parts of the vine to mature.

Adequate sunlight and heat. There must be adequate sunlight hours to ensure a sufficient supply of carbohydrates are produced by photosynthesis to mature the fruit and vine and to maintain future productive potential.

Mineral nutrients. The supply and the availability of essential mineral elements in the rooting zone must neither be inadequate nor excessive. Non-essential mineral elements may also be cause problems if they are toxic to grapevines or consumers.

Adequate water supply. A steady and sufficient supply of water is needed to allow the vine to function properly. However, soil water must not be in excess or grapevine roots- and vine growth - will suffer. Often in cool or cold climate production regions the vines are not irrigated. In that case the soil must retain enough water in the root zone to provide vine needs between rains.

Internal soil drainage. The site should not retain excessive moisture that results in ponding or high water tables that restrict root growth and respiration.

Air drainage. The site should allow cold, dense air to drain away from the vineyard. Otherwise increased frost injury or winter injury may occur. However, steep slopes can increase the potential for erosion or limit the ability to operate machinery safely.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 10:08PM
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trivedi_south(8)

Why slopes (hills) are important for the grapes Vs valley:

http://www.lmawby.com/index.php?route=/enjoy/writings/why-grapes-grow-here

Pics are from 2009
From Jul 12, 2011 From Jul 12, 2011

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 10:18PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

Yes, you will notice I did not mention valley. Nobody mentioned growing grapes in a valley. And yes, you will also notice that this website is for another state and mentions that it is the COLD weather and frost dates that the grapes need. I'm from Ontario originally. Ontario grows superb grapes and has wonderful wines, all grown on very flat surfaces. The fogs create wonderful frosts and colder weather giving the grapes a great flavor. I have no idea what varieties they are growing. As long as you meet the cultural needs for a plant, they will grow, produce and taste great!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 12:31PM
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trivedi_south(8)

"As long as you meet the cultural needs for a plant, they will grow, produce and taste great!"

Truer words never spoken.

I am still a novice with brown thumb...learning...

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 3:27PM
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neptune24

trivedi_south wrote:

The grape grows in tremendous abundance but not edible (the sweet ones also had slightly tougher skin) like the store bought one. I am thinking that because they are not really sweet, the squirrels are leaving them alone but the canadian geese LOVE the grapes.

Have you had any problems with deer? Incidentally, how far south in Georgia are you?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 11:07PM
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neptune24

As for Dahlonega, I don't know what kind of grapes they're growing there, but their average high temperature in July is about 87, and their average low temp in the coldest part of January is 29-30. That's really only a few degrees cooler than where I live (about an hour north of Athens). (We actually hit 13 last year, I think.) So maybe it's cold enough where I live that Concord grapes might get sweet enough to be enjoyable.

I planted the grapevines only about 2 weeks ago, and it's amazing how much they've grown already. At this rate, they're going to take over my yard. ;)

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 11:19PM
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roswell_organic

I have a 2.5 yr old Mars concord vine growing in Roswell GA, we harvested wonderful grapes last year and have been harvesting at least 2 bunches a day for the last 3 weeks and still have probably another month of grapes coming in.
The vine is up on a harbor, grown organically, I have sprayed with Serenade to prevent fungus a couple of times last year and this year after spring rains, and had to pick some japanese bettles out last year and this year, birds have been "sharing" some more this year so I now have CDs hanging down in the harbor, which have reduced the amount of grapes stolen, I am planning on bagging the grapes next year. The grapes are very sweet and seedless. Of all the fruit trees it is the one I have enjoyed the most, I would certainly encourage others to try.
HTH,
Yara

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 10:15PM
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neptune24

Thanks, roswell_organic, for sharing your experience. If these grow well in Roswell, then they should be fine in most of North Georgia, I think.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 4:30AM
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