Facts about grapes:
- In old English, the word berry actually meant grape
- Grapes that you eat raw or table grapes and wine grapes are different from each other.
- Wine grapes are smaller and have thicker skins and lots of seeds.
- Grapes have been in existence for around 65 million years now.
- They have been cultivated by people for around 8000 years.
- Grape skins naturally host yeast, hence used in winemaking
- One serving of grapes contains about 27 percent of vitamin c.
- The U.S is the largest grape importer
- To make 5 gallons or about 25 bottles of wine, you will need 90 pounds of grapes
- Wine grapes are sweeter than table grapes
Some health facts about grapes:
- Grapes increase the level of nitric acid in the blood which prevents blood clots, thus minimizes the risk of heart attacks.
- Grapes are used to helping cure fatigue, kidney disease, migraine, indigestion and asthma.
- Grapes are rich in vitamins K and C, and they contain low levels of cholesterol, sodium and fat.
- Grapes are good for snacking, as they contain 80 percent water and are low in calories.
- The nutrients in grapes have been associated with the prevention of heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer and constipation.
- The nutrients in grapes may also help protect against cardiovascular disease and eye diseases.
- Resveratrol is the key nutrient in grapes that offer a lot of health benefits.
Reasons you should be growing grapes in your garden:
- You have baskets and baskets of one of the healthiest and most luscious fruit plus there is a grapevine for almost every climate.
- They are of very good value, they can thrive for decades if planted properly at the right spot and if given proper care, even at 50 years old, a grapevine may produce bushels of fruit, that’s a pretty good return on investment.
- Grapes don’t require lots of care except for regular annual pruning, and they are very easy to grow
- They add drama and color to your landscape
- They are so good and healthy for you
Parts of a grapevine:
Grape is an interesting plant in itself, it’s a permanent plant but different from other permanent plants in many ways. It’s important to know each and every part of the grapevine plant and its function, to produce the best possible grapes. First, I will introduce you to all the basic parts of a grapevine. Grapevine is a climber has its underground and above-ground parts, they are:
- Root system: roots are multi-branched structures that grow in the soil to various depths depending on types of soil and climate. The following four functions are taken care by the root system: (1) provide physical anchor,(2)store carbohydrates and nutrients for next season,(3) take up water and nutrients from the soil which is done by the fine roots) and (4)produce the hormones gibberellin and cytokinin which influence the development of clusters and shoots of the grapevine.
- Trunk: its the main stem, it supports the above-ground structure and is permanent. Roots,arms and shoots grow from the trunk of the grapevine. When one plants above-ground portion is grafted with another plant rootstock, it is called a scion. The point where the two meets is called as the graft union.
- Canes: when the shoots are mature, it becomes a vine cane. Canes are the major concerns for winegrowers during the off-seasons. As the shoot grows, a trail of nodes and internodes are left behind. Internodes are the spaces between the nodes. Tendrils, flowers and leaves grow from the nodes.
- Buds: they develop right above the shoot and the leave petiole, in the leaf axil/ there are 3 growing points, also known as primary, secondary and tertiary. Dormant buds, which are a small set of buds, emerge where the shoot meets the petiole, the three different types of buds don’t grow the same season they emerge. The tertiary and secondary buds act as a backup if the primary bud sustains damage.
- Shoots: they are green stems that develop from buds, they represent the primary structure of growth of grapevines. Canopy is a term used to describe the shoots, leaves and fruits of the grapevine collectively. From the shoot tip, the shoot grows longer, and it never forms a terminal bud.
- Leaves: The leaves, like any other plant, provide nourishment and air for the plant. They convert sunlight into usable energy. Tendrils grow instead of leaves about every third leaf. Fruitful shoots develop opposite the leaves.
- Tendrils: it appears on both sides of the stems, they are a slender structure. They grow until the grapevine is ready for harvesting. Sometimes you might find flowers developed at the end of the tendrils. Tendrils respond to physical touch, they coil around the vine
- Flowers and grapes: a cluster of flowers grow on opposite sides along with the shoot. Each cluster may contain either only a few or up to a few hundred flowers at a time. After fertilization, the flower clusters develop into clusters of grapes. The peduncle is the main stem that connects the grape clusters to the cane. The rachis is the main stem of the cluster and the smaller stem that grow of the rachis is known as lateral branches. Pedicels are the stems that connect the grapes to the lateral branches.
Factors to consider when choosing the right grape variety for your location:
- Tolerance to low temperature: winter temperatures are obviously a very important factor in choosing the right grape type for production. Most vinifera varieties can be grown in 0 degrees to -10 degrees F if they are managed properly.
- Tolerance to spring frost: the likelihood of a freeze in the spring is another important point to consider.
- Growing season and growing days: it’s very important to know the number of days the particular variety of grape plants will take to ripen. Some short season varieties ripen in about 150 days while others require 180 days or more to ripen.
- Growing degree days: also known as GDD, tells you the number of heat units your location receives. The weather channel is an excellent source for this. Growers with cooler seasons will want to concentrate on early harvest varieties, while those with warmer seasons should focus on later harvest seasons.