Grape development. (for my rapt audience)

My best plant. Back row, partial shade. This will be the one I start babies from. Oh, don't even bother trying to start from seed. I read that it was damn near impossible, but I had to learn on my own. Always the hard way. Always.

Yeah, well. It can’t all be boob shots and beer. (And you’re like, “I don’t remember any beer, Ann.” Whatevs. I have plenty of booze pics; beer is shorthand.)

My Black Spanish grapes are coming along nicely. In the interest of full disclosure, I have been watering them about three times a week this year. I didn’t have to do that last year. It’s just been so dry and hot. I saw my front row (the one which receives the most sun) with shriveled grapes a couple weeks ago, so I knew I had to water each plant if I wanted to have a decent crop.

The back row (which is partial shade), has produced the best for me. It doesn’t even require supplemental water. So, I think when I add to my grapes, it will be along the back row. In heavier shade, the plant looks nice but produces even less than the sun-scorched ones. Like practically nothing. There’s one plant like that in the corner which is shaded by the others. It’s on the north side of my property.

Oh! I just remembered. In Austin, which is ickily humid, you should plant your rows in east-west lines to get the most wind. Grapes can suffer from mildew and rot. The breeze in Austin tends more along the east/west as opposed to the north/south. The wind helps blow the wetness and yicky spores out. Yewwww. If you get mildew yewy yew, copper soap fungicide works nicely.

I hate aphids. I just thought I would throw that in. And fire ants, even though they haven’t done a damn thing to my plants. I still hate them.

So, my advice for Black Spanish grapes in Central Texas would be to find a location that is shaded from the late afternoon sun but sunny the rest of the day. Also, cut those plants back, back, back. NO! Prune them good, or you will get a bunch of green growth but hardly any crop. I know they look sad as heck in January when you chop ’em back. But, grapes are super-aggressive growers. You have to be mean to get them to produce a decent crop.

Front row (full sun all day). No purple grapes here!

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