Growing grapes in eastern NY state

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by heidith, Feb 12, 2004.

  1. heidith

    heidith Well-Known Member

    Feb 4, 2003
    Hi all,
    I live very near the MA border in NY state on 5 acres. We're steadily building up our "exurban" lot to be semi-self-sustaining and I'm really longing to grow grapes. Not necessarily for wine, although that would be good too! We have a pond and lots of mixed wood forest. Any suggestion on how to grow grapes? I've ordered them as a gesture of hope, so I'd really like to have lots of good information over the next month or so.
    We have chickens and Guineas so I know I'll need to fence them in (not to mention fox, coyote, deer, an occasional travelling bear...) but how exactly to do that and THEN what?
    Thanks so much for any advice given!
  2. Helena

    Helena Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    north central Pennsylvania
    We have an established grape vine...large one too...that was here growing well 25 years ago when we moved here. It gives us an over-abundance of grapes each year. They are the purple kind..don't know exactly what type. We are very near the Finger Lakes, of NY, live in PA which of course is Wine Country. Over the years we have planted many new grape vines but none ever seemed to do well. We do have a "wild' one growing on our deck which gives me hope. I am going to try, try again this year also. I'm just going to pull out my magazines and books and ask for lots of advice this spring when I plant. Our "old" vine...I do nothing to it. I do prune it back during the spring...just chopping anything I don't like the looks of...not real professional but it seems to work OK for me. I don't fertilize or anything special. I wish you luck..check in your area and ask your Cooperative Extension or any garden clubs...or when you are out for a drive and spot a grape vine in someones back yard...ask them about it. People are usually very flattered to give advice. I wish you Good Luck !!!

  3. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

    May 9, 2002
    :) Helena has it right. Call your local Extension Service. They will know what varieties do well in your area and what you need to do to keep them healthy. Our taxes support this, might as well use all of the expertise and experience. Have fun.....LQ
  4. diane greene

    diane greene Well-Known Member

    May 12, 2002
    I'm in the Catskills and the biggest problem for organic grape growers here is black rot. It is brought on by cold nights and hot, humid days. It is best to avoid seedless varieties because they are more susceptible. We have had good luck with Concord, Mars and Glendora.
  5. Not sure exactly where in NY you are but you should have no trouble growing Concord grapes. They are dark purple and very sweet, after they have been hit by frost. Good for eating and jelly but a bit too sweet for wine (not that that ever stopped my grandmother). She also used to make wine out of dandelions but that’s another story.
    In the finger-lakes region of the state, they are growing numerous varieties of grapes but I think that the lakes act to moderate the climate a little allowing the different varieties to grow. I think most wine grapes prefer clay type well drained soil. Concords can grow just about anywhere including on the edge of swamps. Good Luck