Growing Grapes in Texas Jim Kamas Central Texas Gardener
I love Tait Moring's sense ofgardening style. Thanks so much for opening your gates for us. Right now we're going to talk aboutgrowing grapes. One of the hottest topics here in Texas because of all the wineries. We have Jim Kamas with us. It's great to have you back on theprogram. Welcome. Thanks, Tom, I appreciate it. Welcome back to Central Texas Gardener. You've just published a great new bookGrowing Grapes in Texas.
Congratulations on that! Thanks a lot. It took a couple years to get done, but I'm I'm pretty happy with it. Well you know, like I said, it's a hottopic. A lot of people are very interested in growing grapes in their backyard. Maybe one ofthose famous table grapes, like Concord or something like that. Well Concord ispretty tough to grow here. Concord likes acid soils which we don'thave. And it's much more adapted a cooler climates. If you wanted to grow Fredonia or some of the other lebrusca types, they'll work, but
Concord is a pretty tough one to grow here. Ok, well your book is filled with tips aboutvarieties and things like that. Let's focus on that home grower. You know , I know for example I go out to hillcountry every now and again to go to Fredericksburg, places around there. And I see wineries springing up like mushrooms now. And it kinda makes me wanna grow grapeshere in town. What does a home gardner need to know to get startedé Well if you're a homeowner and you want to grow enough vines to produce a little bit of wine
my advice is plant what you like. If you're planting a commercial vineyards we're going to have a very different discussion. But if you like Merlot, plant Merlot. If you like Syrah, plant Syrah. For smallscale, you have no big economicinvestment, so plant what you like and go with that. Yeah okay, that makes sense. In terms of the space needs, the sun,
all those kinds of things, grapes arerather particular and disease prone. Yes. So let's give people an idea of whatthe basics are that they would need to have any kind of success. Sure. Commercially our rows are spaced nine to ten feet apart, but in the backyard if you are maintaining the row centers with alawnmower or something, you can place the rows as close as six feet apart.And you can also go as tight as five to six feet between vines. You can put a lot of vines in arelatively small space.
So small space is OK. When we talk about the rows, we are talking about providing structures on which the the vines can grow and supportthemselves. Yes, a lot of times in California you'll see these free standing vines that are called head pruned vines. They don't do very well here because we need to keep our vines up off the ground because it rains here duringthe summer and they are very disease prone as you mentioned.
Wegmans Organic Farm Grapes
These Worden grapes look great. They're producing really nice clusters. They do. They have awesome color. Do you think they are ready to harvesté I think so. Bill and I are here in our vineyard, part of our orchard and Bill is our team leader here at the orchard. Hello.
We just purchased this property last year so it's something very new to us. We've been growing vegetables for the past 8 years and this is our first year at starting to understand organic fruit production. We have 25 different varieties of table grapes here of seeded and seedless varieties. These vines are 30 years old,
so there's a lot of history behind these vines. We're trying to experiment with different seedless table grape varieties to see which ones work best and be able to expand on them in the future. This is part of our overall mission here at the Wegmans Farm to learn how to grow organic fruits and vegetables and pass that information on to other growers
so we can source more local organic produce near our stores. Organic produce is available in season at all of our stores from the Wegmans Organic Farm and from our regional organic partner farms.
How are Alphonso mangoes cultivated
The Indian quot;Alphonsoquot; mango is known around the world as the quot;King of mangoesquot;, primarily because of its tropically sweet taste, rich golden colored juicy pulp and smooth creamy texture. These mangoes are nonfibrous and considerably more tender than other mango varieties available in the market. During mango season in India,
which lasts for about three months every year from April to June, these mangoes release a strong aromatic fragrance in the air which further acts as an informal announcement that the quot;King of mangoesquot; is here! The Alphonso mango
with its unique set of culinary qualities has been appreciated globally by renowned chefs, food connoisseurs and mango enthusiasts. While the demand for this impeccable fruit has grown exponentially, cultivators have not been able to match this growing demand
This is partly because ground and weather profile conditions required to produce mangoes of such a prized pedigree are in short supply. As a result, much like Alba truffles, Kashmiri Saffron, Kobe Beef and Italian Caciocavallo cheese;
Indian Alphonso mangoes are produced in limited quantities each year. These mangoes are harvested in summer and most of the stock is sold and consumed locally within India. The Alphonso mangoes that we see today are a result of decades of painstaking artificial selection and radical horticultural experimentation.
All of this done with a singular aim to create the best mango mango cultivar in the world! To appreciate the beauty of this fruit we must delve further into the roots of how it came into being. The quot;Alphonsoquot; mango as the name suggests was introduced to India