Backyard grape growing has become very popular in recent years in Central Texas. Both table grapes and grapes for producing wine are available to the homeowner. I am a jelly-maker, and have enjoyed Black Spanish Grapes for my jelly-making endeavors in the past. It truly makes a very flavorful jelly! Here are the grapes we have available this year for you to grow:
‘Blanc duBois’ is a white table grape which grows on a vigorous vine. The grape clusters are medium-sized and ripen in June to July in Central Texas. It is resistant to Pierce’s Disease and Downy Mildew. The roots are resistant to Nematodes and must have well-drained soils.
‘Black Spanish’ or ‘Le Noir’ is a red wine, juice and jelly variety which has very high yields. It has large clusters of small, seeded grapes. The juice is very red in color. It is resistant to Pierce’s Disease. The vines are moderately vigorous and the fruit ripens in late July to early August.
‘Champanel’ is a red jelly grape which is well-adapted to Central Texas. The vine is very vigorous and produces small clusters of large, black, seeded fruit. It is resistant to Pierce’s Disease, Black Rot, Downy Mildew and Anthracnose.
‘Himrod’ is a small, entirely seedless table grape that turns golden-yellow when fully ripe. It has a crispy texture and is quite sweet.
‘Victoria Red’ is a Texas Superstar variety which has been recognized for its resilience, vigor and productivity. It has been grown successfully for almost 30 years and has a high tolerance for Pierce’s Disease. This variety is a seeded variety with clusters averaging one pound. It is cold-hardy to Zone 7b.
MUSCADINE VARIETIES: These are mostly resistant to diseases such as Pierce’s disease, black rot and anthracnose. They adapt well to Texas climate and are a minimal maintenance fruit for the homeowner.
‘Southern Jewel’ is a black-fruited variety released by The University of Florida. It is known as a high-yielding, disease resistant grape with excellent flavor.
‘Cowart’ is a black, self fertile grape with small to medium fruit with good flavor. Good for home plantings.
‘Scuppernong’ is considered the oldest muscadine cultivar, selected from wild, native muscadines in N. Carolina. The bronze-green fruit produces a bronze juice.
‘Southland’ is a self-fertile selection with black, small to medium fruit with good flavor. It is good for homeowners who want and aromatic fruit with strong muscadine flavor.
Grape vines will require support, so plan on building a structure for them to grow on. They will need to be heavily pruned in the winter, as they will only produce fruit on new growth each year. They are not heavy feeders, and organic fertilizers work well on them. They do have some special needs, which you can read about in this publication by Extension Horticulturists at Texas A & M University: