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Cold Hardy Grapes

Posted by Collin001 2b (My Page) on
Sun, May 6, 12 at 13:52

I was hoping for advice on finding some cold hardy grapes. I am almost done constructing a pergola and would like a vine to hang on it. This is the sunniest part of the yard and will have a white metal shed behind it to bounce heat off it it.

What varieties have you had success with? I have the room to grow more than one vine. I had my eye on the Morden 9703 as it is a table grape. I don't know much about vines so don't be afraid to state the obvious.

Intended uses:
Juice, jam, fresh eating. No wine making, deathly allergic to the fermentation process.



Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Cold Hardy Grapes

A former colleague has had great success with "Valiant" cultivar -- her vines produce fair-sized clusters abundantly with, I understand, no special care. Her grapes are a little tart to be used as table grapes (for my taste), but you take what you can in our climate. I have a few young vines myself, but they suffer winter kill each year. I understand that older vines are more cold-hardy. I live in Peace River, AB.

RE: Cold Hardy Grapes

The neighbour across the street has a Valiant grape. They convinced me to make the decision and adopt a vine. The neighbour doesn't do anything with them, outside of stringing
Christmas lights through them. Last year I made juice out of them. It takes a fair bit of sugar but they do give a richer flavour than the bought stuff.

Valiant is on the short list. Thanks David.

RE: Cold Hardy Grapes

Valiant is probably your best option. Makes amazing jelly and juice, lousy wine, too seedy for serious fresh eating. Ripens late August. Unprotected vines have some winterkill above snowline but winter protection not needed for healthy growth each year. New Canadian Prairie-hardy grape cultivars being developed at University of Saskatchewan, really hard to find out much about them...

RE: Cold Hardy Grapes

I'll give Valiant a try Don. I'm preparing a couple spots for grapes. I'm in a bit of a waiting game until I see more progress from the University. I may take on the challenge of trying out a blue moon wisteria for something to do in the interim!

RE: Cold Hardy Grapes

i do my grapes in the double guyot system
not good for trellises,
but for less winter die-back it is the way to go
in winter just keep snow covering the vines,
my low wire is about 4" off the ground,
off a deck that i sweep snow off to cover the grapes

you can also delay flowering by shoveling snow over the roots as far into spring as possible
we usually get a late snow that can be used for this purpose

also a deep mulch (4"-6") will keep the soil cool longer to delay early sap rising and budding-out of any fruit
then you run less risk of late frosts killing off your future fruit

RE: Cold Hardy Grapes

here is a list of the grapes that made it through a rather tough winter and spring
the first cold snap happened without snow on the ground,
then what little snow was on the ground i did shovel onto the grapes as best as i could

blue bell
prairie star
kay gray

eona and kandiyohi did not make it

RE: Cold Hardy Grapes

Intotheark, I'm curious about the flower-delaying tactic. I have only ever grown Valiant, but early-flowering has never been an issue -- right now my plants are still in bud stage, with flowering maybe a week or so away. Have you had issues with Valiant? Do other varieties flower earlier?

RE: Cold Hardy Grapes

I'm definitely going to try these tips this fall. Thanks!

I think my problem, ironically enough, is that the microclimate where I have my grapes is too mild for successful overwintering. My grapes are on a trellis on the southwestern side of my house, and snowcover in that spot is both highly variable and intermittent throughout the was bare ground well into December this year. I think that the constant freeze/thaw cycles in that spot simply damaged my vines. I'm going to weight them down this fall and cover the vines with straw, and hope for the best. My experiment this year is the 'Minnesota' cultivar.

RE: Cold Hardy Grapes

that thick mulch will definitely help with the freeze-thaw cycles
i just build a box out of 2x6's and fill with mulch

the delay in flowering just means less risk for damage,
the grapes have been ok,
and if frost is threatened i spray all the fruit with comfrey late in the night

on a side note,
i pruned the fruiting stems last year similar to indeterminate tomatoes
and judging by the number and size of clusters so far on the older valiants,
they liked it
basically on each fruiting stem (and the replacement stems) any sideshoots are allowed 1 leaf only
and their height was restricted to about 7'
it keeps it clean looking, but they are vigorous and do require some attention

RE: Cold Hardy Grapes

I'm with Don,..Grapes push late and early flowering is not a issue.
We had a mild winter and my Valiant is looking better this year.

RE: Cold Hardy Grapes

the eona came back from underground about 2 weeks ago,
and is growing strong
hopefully with a better snow pack this year the main stem will survive

the kandiyohi i yanked
it was the second try with this variety from the same place
at least they replaced the first one that died for free
but no sense beating a dead horse

RE: Cold Hardy Grapes

'Tis the season for grapes again... seems like this will be a good year. Here's a ripening Valiant cluster, still a bit tart but should hit prime in a week or two. How are everyone else's grapes doing?


RE: Cold Hardy Grapes

  • Posted by mytime 3/4 Alaska (My Page) on
    Fri, Sep 14, 12 at 11:17

Those are luscious looking!

RE: Cold Hardy Grapes

The heat this summer has made 'Valiant' taste sweeter and better than ever, too bad I just have a few clusters.

RE: Cold Hardy Grapes

The neighbour across the street gave us about their valiant grapes to make into juice and a bit of jam. We did notice the grapes are a bit sweeter than last year but the fall has so far been a dry one here. To be honest I think these grapes are a bit smaller than yours Don. Then again they grow around a crab that is not watered so are left to fend for itself.

We also had a chance to try out a concord grape. The grape is like a bagful of marbles it has so many seeds! 3 seeds for every grape but they are somewhat sweeter to eat out of hand. The is like those old sour rolls you could buy at the candy store.

RE: Cold Hardy Grapes

I harvested the Valiant today, ..first little crop, heaving them sit for a while with several light frost made them nice and sweet.
They have HUGE seeds!

Oct. 14, 2012

RE: Cold Hardy Grapes

Nice. The best use I've found for these is grape jelly - prepare to be amazed! It needs pectin though to set properly, especially if picked when fully ripe. Juice (can be frozen) is nice too. I eat some fresh but the seeds are an issue so most of the grapes go to jelly/juice. I tried making wine from them one year but it was like really really bad "Baby Duck" cheap wine.

RE: Cold Hardy Grapes

  • Posted by RpR_ 3-4 (My Page) on
    Tue, Oct 16, 12 at 17:13

I have a vine of copper-green colored slip skin type grapes that survive sub-zero temps. in mid-Minn.

This summer they suddenly just dried up on the vine, while the plant thrived.

My Concords came out just fine.
Does anyone have any idea what caused this?

I can not give you the variety as the specie card is fifty miles from me.

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