The Hunchback of Notre dame – Frollo Grapes
“Buenos Dias Esmeralda” – Frollo
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
HOW TO MAKE IT
1. Before planting bare root vines, soak the roots in water for 3-4 hours. At planting, remove all canes except the most vigorous one. Plant vines with the lowest bud on the cane just above the soil surface. Trim off any broken or excessively long roots. Dig a hole large enough to you can spread the root system out then cover the roots completely with soil. Mulching is not usually recommended for grapes because mulch will moderate the soil temperature, often keeping it cooler in warmer months, and grape vines grow best in warmer soil.
After planting, water the vines regularly throughout the first year. The root system needs to grow and establish to allow for shoot growth in the first year.
Grapevines need some type of support or they will trail along the ground. The support can be an arbor covering a patio for shade, or can be as simple as a post in the ground to support the trunk of the vine. Grapevines can also be grown along an existing fence. Virtually any type of support structure will do, provided it is sturdy. Grape vines grow quickly and get quite heavy.
Once the trunk has reached as high as you want, and the lateral trunks have been formed, prune the vine each spring before growth begins so the developing canes have enough air movement around them to reduce diseases. There are many different methods and techniques for training vines; we recommend you experiment with pruning vines to make them an integral part of your landscape. Remember, fruit is produced on the current season’s growth, that in turn grows from last season’s wood. Heavy pruning provides the best fruit. Light pruning results in large yields of poor-quality fruit; very heavy pruning produces too much vegetative growth and very little or no fruit.
The best way to tell if grapes are ripe is to taste a few. Many cultivars turn color before they are ripe. To harvest, clip full clusters off the vine with pruning shears or heavy scissors. Handle clusters carefully; remove any discolored, injured, or undesirable berries; and then cool them as soon as they are picked.
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