Wednesday 19 January 2022

Seedless Grapes


I’ve had red and white grapevines on my wall since 2013, they were bought from the £1 shop and did really well and produced grapes year on year there was just one problem, they had pips or seeds.

The wife and kids complained that although nice they were not as good as the nice ones from the supermarket don’t have seeds in, and their question was, "Why can’t you grow some without seeds?" My immediate answer was well if they don't have seeds how is one supposed to grow them?

Although a rare mutant seedless plant could be natural, the seedless form is not naturally occurring. The process of growing seedless grapes uses a form of asexual reproduction. The only way for a mutant seedless grape plant to reproduce is through the unnatural (for the grape plant) and manual asexual reproduction process.

Thus seedless grapes are grown from cuttings. The cuttings refer to amputated parts of a vine that is infected with the genetic defect that causes it to grow seedless grapes. This cutting is then dipped into a rooting hormone and planted in soil.

So after a little Winter internet surfing of the normal suspects, I have found that Suttons sell three varieties of seedless grapevines, and the two I’m going for are:-

KC5383Grapevine Plant - Flame Red (Seedless) which is supplied as a grafted plant in a 2 litre pot and Cost £18.99

Flame is one of the most popular self-fertile varieties of grape that taste even better just picked from the vine. This variety is suitable for outdoor and greenhouse/ conservatory growing and the web site says ”Choose a sunny spot and our variety will provide you with a bountiful crop of delicious grapes! The vine is very attractive too!”

When growing grape vines choose a sunny position in any well drained soil. A south facing position against a wall is ideal, and I'm blessed in having such a wall. 

"Grape vines require sturdy support for their twining stems. Before planting, prepare a framework of wires stretched horizontally between two sturdy 1.8m (6’) posts or attached to a warm wall". I have wires already where I had the seeded grapes, but I'm going to wire up another section of wall as I now know, having had them  just how much grapevines can grow.

Prior to planting, incorporate plenty of well-rotted manure or garden compost into the soil. Plant grape vines against the wire supports, allowing a distance of 2m (6’) between plants. After planting, reduce the newly planted grape vine back to height of the lowest support wire, and cut back any side shoots to one bud, before tying the main stem in to the supporting wires.

The other variety is KA1985 Grapevine (Vitis) Lakemore White (Seedless) which is supplied as a 3 litre potted plant for £19.99  

Grape 'Lakemont' is a superb grape to grow for a number of reasons. It is a delicious dessert grape or can be eaten straight from the vine when ready. The oval fruits grow in an abundance of sizeable clusters that you can harvest September.

These grapes grow to a good size, are white, seedless and taste sweet and rich. Like many Grapes, it also grows show-stopping lobed foliage that ‘colours up’ well in the autumn season. Furthermore, it is the ideal for growing on sunny, south-facing wall

Lakemore grapevines produce prolific crops that show impressive and are resistance to Powdery and Downy Mildew too.

Height of cordon trained vine: 1.8m (6’). Spread of cordon trained vine: 1.5m (5’). Untrained plants may reach up to 8m (26’)

So on my programme of works I need to make sure I have the old grapevine removed and the spot ready for one of the above and drill and ring bolt for wires further down the wall for the other variety above are done by mid February.  

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