Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Family Tree

DSC_2137_6489Grape – Red Flame

Farmer MacGregor is the right man for the job…the job of thinning grapes.  He’s been studying the best way to prune the vine and the bunches in order to produce big, beautiful grapes with an eye toward future production.  I don’t know a thing about it and I’m glad he is taking control of the vineyard.  Does one grapevine constitute a vineyard?  Thinning is difficult for me.  I know I’m not alone.  Onions are easy because they can be thinned and used as you go along.  The fruit trees are a different beast.  The fruit trees were thick with fruit earlier this spring.  All that fruit is a promise of jam, pie, cobblers, fruit leather, and just plain fruit.  Many encouraged me to thin the fruit out to enable stronger fruit.  I didn’t.  Mother Nature and her wind loosened the weaklings and threw them to the ground.  Thanks Ma.

With days full of garden chores and a nighttime addiction to, I have had little time to make entries in my blogging garden journal.  There is no 12 step program for this addiction and I don’t care.  Like gardening, history is especially interesting.  My branches extend back well beyond the Mayflower.  Farmer MacGregor’s branches are a challenge to me though.  One of those branches is especially difficult because so many records were destroyed during the wars in Europe.  Finding information, and some of that information is only a sliver, can help create a character in a complicated story.  This type of history gives me a greater appreciation to those before me.  Thank goodness they didn’t thin me from the tree.


Garden Note:

  • Planted Sugar Baby Watermelon 05/22/11.
  • Thinned grapes 05/21/11.
  • Harvested garlic 05/16/11.
  • Planted red peppers 05/22/11.
  • Thinned & repotted spider plants 05/25/11.
  • Fertilized vegetables 05/24/11.
  • Amended two middle beds 05/22/11.  Added sand and Gardner & Bloom.
  • Sulfate of Ammonia applied to front lawn 05/20/11.


Mike said...

Thinning is tough for me to do. I always have a hard time getting rid of potential fruits and vegetables.

Lisa Paul said...

You'll need to get yourself another grapevine. While vines have male and female parts, they can't effectively pollinate themselves. At least that's true with wine grapes. Maybe Red Flame has been so hybridized that it can self-pollinate. But I believe you have diminishing returns with only one.


*Mike - We're just a couple of softies.

*Lisa - I think my vine has both bits because it was completely loaded until it was snipped. The tag that came with the bare root stock doesn't have any information.

Bill Bird said...

Maybelline, table grapes like Red Flame are self-pollinators. Most table grapes are. Most vino grapes are not.

If you want fat grapes, which I also want, you must find some way to acquire Gibrellec Acid. This is organic by the way.

There is more than one type GA-1, for example, is a rooting hormone. You'll find it in stores that cater to pot growers.

What we need is GA-3. It is applied twice during the growth season. Right now, when the grape flowers open -- and again halfway through the grape season.

In the words of a farm supply salesman who used to live on my block, it "makes the grapes blow up big."

Unfortunately, GA-3 is VERY hard to find. I haven't been able to locate it, and I just don't trust the online sources I've already discovered.

But if you want big, fat, juicy, sweet grapes? GA-3 is the answer.



*Bill - Thanks for all the information. You're pointing me in the right direction. I need to learn more.