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.
Paddock to Plate
(Music plays) It is so important to support events like like Paddock to Plate because you get to meet the producers and see where the food comes from aneat seasonally and eat locally. It's just interesting to seewhat all the stallholders are talking about, and the conversations
and the freshness of the produce is great. It's local food and a lot of it is organic. It's fresh. We decided to host the Paddock to Plate event today because their aims and values does work closely with ours. It's about growing food, it's about sustainable food, it's about low food miles. It's about knowing where your food comesfrom. It's about trying seasonal food. The mushrooms I'm selling this morning were all picked
last night. Less then 12 hours old, even some where picked this morning so there the things they appreciate. I'm think they are tired of massproduced food and they'd like tobe reassured that the food they are buying and eating, has fewer chemicals in them It's a family businesslocally made here in Coburg,
we do a lot of farmers markets. It's got a good vibe about it. Stallholders you know are passionate about their food you know high quality produce. The responses have been fantastic. At the demonstration today, peoplehave really enjoyed eating different things they might not have usually tried.It's really good. It's like it's got tips and ideas for people. It's great as I learn from people as well. So it's great conversations.
(Crowd conversation) Today I was here running some gardening workshops. Showing people how to set up gardens in a very small space and get lots to eat out of it. I'm not really that much interested in gardens you can't eat. But yeah edible gardens can look sobeautiful and produce so much. And that is something I really enjoy sharing around. It's been a terrific day. It's been a greatsuccess. Store holders have all said they have seen lot's of new faces. They have had a really successful day. So pleased that we have done it
and we hope we can do it again.