Growing grapes is something many people want to do but poses some challenges, mainly in finding grapes that grow well and are hardy without using lots of sprays. We’ve found the following varieties we offer to be tried and true and to do decently well in humid climates. These are fresh eating grapes with excellent quality, these are not considered good wine grapes. They require a trellis of some type (fences, arbors, decks all work as well). A spray program is necessary to get high quality fruit in abundance. Compost tea, Surround, whey and Serenade would all be excellent organic choices. Without spraying, many grapes, including these, will suffer fungal issues like black rot, although these cultivars are more resistant than most others in this region.
NEW!!! Muscadine Grapes
Muscadine grapes are the organic growers dream come true. Not your typical grapes in flavor and texture, muscadines are rich, meaty, and super-sweet. The edible skins are sometimes thick (this is how they resist disease!), and they all have small (edible, very healthful and anti-cancer) seeds. They resist all the common grape maladies: black rot, mildew, etc.
The only “catch” is that they are only cold hardy to USDA zone 7 and higher. So, unless you live in very southern KY southwards, or another zone 7 or higher area with hot summers, than muscadines are not possible. However, in our zone 6 farm in central KY, we’re going to plant a small number of vines in an unheated poly high tunnel and they should do quite well in there.
If you like grapes and live in zone 7 or above, PLANT MUSCADINES! The fruit is just fantastic and the ease of growing them is a real luxury. Don’t miss out!