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.
Grape Hyacinth Muscari armeniacum How to grow Grape Hyacinth
I love a patch of Grape Hyacinths. You cansee that they get their name from the color in the clusters of flowers on the little spikes.Actually the tops of these have been a little frost blasted, but they are still a wonderfuldisplay. Muscari armeniacum is the botanical name for this particular type of Grape Hyacinth.There are other species as well. There are some that give you a larger bloom, some tingedwith white, some are even in the hotter color frames, the pinks and the reds, yellows andorange. We may have one blooming down below. It is a Fall planted bulb. Plant these inthe Fall like you would a Crocus or a Daffodil and then what happens is it spends the Winterdormant and it comes up in early Spring and
gives you this great display of dark blueto purple flowers. Then after the flowers have died back the foliage still hangs around,it's continuing to gather nutrients and send sugars to the root bulb for flowering nextyear, to get it through the long Winter and for it to flower next year. I have some Muscarihere at the garden that are almost evergreen. Their leaves stayed around all Winter long.This is not one of them. This actually came up this Spring. The honey bees are workingit, it's fragrant. Its a wonderful, wonderful eyecatching contrast to the yellows and thewarmer colors of the Daffodils next to it. Muscari Grape Hyacinth are a carefree, veryeasily grown Spring bulb. Again, you plant
them in the Fall. No problem coming up. Youdo want to avoid wet, swampy soils and other than that, you're good to go. Not many thingswill mess with the Grape Hyacinth. I suppose that moles and voles may be a problem in someareas, but I haven't even had squirrels mess with ours. Muscari armeniacum.
How to Identify Spring Flowers in Bloom Grape Hyacinth
Hi this is Yolanda Vanveen from Vanveenbulbs And in this series we're learning all about how to identify our spring blooming flowerbulbs. We all have lots of flowers in the spring that bloom and a lot of times we don'thave any idea what their names are and that's ok you don't have to know everybody's nameat your party. But a traditional flower that many people recognize including your grandmotherwould be the Muscari or Grape Hyacinth. So Grape Hyacinth, or Muscari are really, reallypretty because they look like little bells, it looks like someone just pinned a thousandlittle bells on a stem and they're that bright, bright blue purple color, that the kind ofthe bottoms are more of a purple and then
they fade to a lighter blue on the top. Andthey are very grassy looking, they look like little grass coming up. And they bloom fora long time, mine has been blooming for two or three months now, and they are startingto get to the end of the bloom. They are starting to make these little seed pods, so again wheneverI have seed pods too, I always plant these back in the ground. They might not do muchfor awhile, you can even dry them and save them and then plant them or give them awayto friends. So you can actually plant them and start them by seed and by bulb and that'swhy they multiply pretty quickly. So I'm just going to leave these blooming here for a fewyears and in about three or four years I will
probably have ten times the number that Ihave now and at that point I'll probably divide them and put them in different areas. Muscarior Grape Hyacinth are really a pretty traditional plant that many people recognize and theyare easy to grow, they multiply quickly so you almost have to watch out, because theywill really crowd a bed out over the years. But it's easy to maintain them, just everyfew years dig some out and put them in a different area or give them away, always find somebodyelse that wants them. And they're just really pretty and traditional and I love them. Nextwill talk about another beautiful spring blooming flower bulb that blooms real early and that'sPuschkinia.