Welcome to my website in which I record my activities growing Organic Fruit. I am seriously limited for space, so I have to be smart about what I grow. The best way to maximise yield in a given space is to grow tall plants, but I wanted as much variety as possible, so my more recent additions have been dwarf fruit trees.........................................John Ashworth 27th July 2015.
Latest Update 8th August 2016.
You can propagate Thompson Seedless grapevines by taking cane cuttings, by grafting softwood cuttings or grown from seed. The easiest method is to take cane cuttings from an existing vine in late autumn to early winter.
Careful pruning of new vines is required to ensure they are given a sound structure capable of supporting a heavy load of grapes. Commercial growers train their new plants along horizontal wires supported by timber posts.
They remove all the side shoots on a new vine each spring until it grows tall enough to reach the wire, and the next spring they prune the shoots leaving the top 2 strongest ones in place. These are trained to grow in opposite directions by tying them along the wire, after cutting them back to 12 buds from the parent cane.
My grapevine was planted at the end of a fence, and both lateral canes were trained in the same direction along it; one above the other. It works fine and in summer the vine completely covers the fence with foliage.
The following and subsequent years are all about pruning the spurs growing from the laterals back to 2 buds in winter.
Once the plant starts to setbunches of grapes, trim the bunchesback about 25% to increase the size of the remaining grapes. Remove enough foliage in early summer to expose the grapes to sunlight and allow air to flow freely through the plant. Removing this foliage helps redirect some of the plant's energy to growing bigger grapes.
Fresh table grapes taken off your own organic vine are simply delicious and are very nutritious. I'm inclined to make a pig of myself on grapes when they are ready for harvest.
Variety: Thompson Seedless (Sultana).
Family Group: Vitaceae.
Garden bed type: Drip line irrigated organic bed.
Recommended soil pH: 5.5 - 6.5.
Plant Spacings (centres): 2000mm (trellis).
Good Companions: Geraniums, Mulberries, Hyssop, Basil, Tansy.
Climate: Warm Temperate.
Geographic Hemisphere: Southern
This food is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium.
also a very good
source of Vitamin K and magnesium.
Keep the mulch clear of the main stem to prevent collar rot.
Propagate a new grape vine in winter from existing stock. Cut a strong
cane grown during the previous season and select the strongest shoot. Cut the top of the cane on a 45 degree angle 10mm above the shoot and remove all the other shoots. Cut the bottom of the cane square so its 300mm long.
Bury the cutting 100mm deep with the bud facing upwards in fresh compost in a propagator.
The new roots
will grow from the bottom end of the cutting and from the
lower laterals where they have been cut back to the main stem. Water it in with rainwater or filtered water.
take more than a year to establish itself but you should be able to plant
it out in the following spring.
This pruning method
is used on grape varieties like Thompson Seedless which don’t
have flowering buds in the lower parts of their canes. Instead they carry bunches of grapes near the ends.
Grow your vine in the middle of a wire trellis strung between strong posts set 2 metres apart.
In the first season train the strongest of the canes vertically to make a trunk.
vine in late winter at the end of the first season by remove all the canes except the selected trunk.
all the buds on the trunk except for the 3 strongest ones at the top.
These will produce canes during the warmer months.
Once dormant in the following winter, identify the 3 canes
growing from these buds, and select the 2
Trim each of them back to 12 buds, and wrap them around the trellis wire (one in each direction). Tie the ends to the wire.
of grape vines in a warm temperate climate will produce a few inferior
bunches of grapes in the second year, but these are best removed early
so the vine will put its energy into growing a strong structure.
The following and subsequent years are all about pruning the spurs growing from the laterals back to 2 buds in winter (at 10mm from the second bud).
Once the plant starts to setbunches of grapes, trim the bunchesback about 25% to increase the size of the remaining grapes.
Remove enough foliage in early summer to expose the grapes to sunlight
and allow air to flow freely through the plant. Removing this foliage
helps redirect some of the plant's energy to growing bigger grapes.
Reduced watering once the grapes are near to maturity, increases their sweetness.
Harvesting and storage.
Thompson Grapes will begin to turn into a paler green or light beige colour, but the best way to be sure they are ripe is to taste one.
Once you are satisfied with the taste of the grapes in a bunch, cut the whole bunch off with enough stem for handling purposes.
We only have one vine, so we use the grapes as they ripen and give surpluses to family and friends.
Thompson Grapes are very acceptable seedless table grapes, and when dried can be stored as sultanas.
Grapes should be protected against slugs and snails using self adhesive copper
tape bonded around the base of your raised garden bed.
these molluscs get into your bed as eggs laid in your compost, kill
them with organically approved iron based snail pellets as soon as you
discover them. You should only need to use a small number of pellets.
At the first sign of caterpillar damage, spray the crop thoroughly with Bacillus thuringiensis (Dipel in Australia) This
natural soil dwelling bacterium once ingested by the caterpillars produces toxins which paralyse the caterpillar's digestive system causing it to stop feeding.
It dies within a few days.