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.
Gardening Repelling Pests How to Kill Japanese Beetles on Grape Plants
Hi this is Yolanda Vanveen and in this segmentwe're going to talk about how to kill Japanese beetles on grape plants. Now Japanese beetlesoriginated from Japan but they're now all over the world and they're doing major devastationon your crops and so if they're on your grape plants they're going to eat away all the leavesand all the grapes and pretty much eventually kill your plant. So there is a lot of waysthat you can protect yourself from even getting the beetles in your garden in the first place.So first of all I always find that to ward off a lot of different bugs away from yourgrape plants try planting garlic, try planting marigolds, try planting all types of chrysanthemumsor lavender or any types of spearmint around
your grapes. Most bugs don't like those plantsso they'll avoid those plants and a lot of times they won't come through those plantsto get to your grapes so by planting those together a lot of times you can stop a lotof the bugs from eating your grapes. Another trick is actually putting oil or any kindof vegetable oil or olive oil on to the grape plants when they are dormant so when theydo start growing too a lot of times the beetles won't get near the trees because the oil won'thurt the plant it won't hurt the fruits but the bugs don't like it at all. If it's stilla big issue, a lot of people are using neem oil from a tree from India and it does reallywell as far as stopping bugs from doing any
damage and killing them very quickly becauseit just suffocates them. So a lot of books will tell you to use pyrethrins which arejust from chrysanthemums and it is one of the most deadly chemicals in the world andthey're finding that women that wash their animals with any kind of pyrethrin soap they'rechildren have twice as much of a chance to have autism. So we don't know a lot aboutpyrethrins and we don't know a lot of about a lot of even natural ways to get rid of bugsso I always go back to oil and washing it off. When all else fails just keep hosingoff your grape plants with the hose. Get a really sharp sprayer and just spray the bugsoff and if you keep watering your grapes over
and over and over and wash the bugs off alot of times they won't become the problem that they were in the past. So it's a goodfight but there is a lot of ways that you can get rid of those Japanese beetles withoutusing harmful chemicals.
Grape Insect Prevention
.other urban grape planting, and the types of things that youshould be doing right now on your grapes is, again, Disease Control. These plantslook pretty clean right now. You can tell there's some spray residualright here. They've been spraying them, otherwise they would have powdery mildew,downy mildew, black rot, and a number of other problems. The cluster grapes are quite healthy, and
the one thing that I would watch out forat this point in the year is as we mentioned early July is Japanese beetles willbe showing up any day now, and what Japanese beetles do is they feedon the leaves, and they will also destroy the berries,and they give you this type of appearance where they eat holes in the leaves. One of thethings that I tell people is that if your gonna control Japanesebeetles you actually wanna put materials on to protect against them
before they get there. Once they startdoing damage other Japanese beetles are attracted andthey will be more damage than they normally would. There are a number of different products thatare out there that can be used, but one organic product that you mightconsider using even before that there is called quot;neemquot;. NEEM. And that one is nice because it notonly kills the Japanese beetles, but it has a repellent quality to it. Itcan repel the Japanese beetles
from 24 to 48 hours. Okay.