Monday 15 January 2024

Suttons Flame (Red Seedless) Grapevine

 KC5383 Grapevine Plant - Flame Red (Seedless) which is supplied as a grafted plant in a 2-litre pot and Cost when purchased in 2022 it was £18.99.

The plant arrived on the 4th of February 2022. Looking at the price on the 11th Jan 2024 its now selling at £22.99

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.

I visited the allotment plot on the 5th of February 2022, late in the afternoon and cleared the area of wall beside the greenhouse on plot 1A exposing the eyebolts and wires. 

The Suttons Flame grapevine came in a cardboard box approximately 900mm high which I opened to have a look into when it arrived but didn't undo until I was down on the plot. I took the plastic bag off and placed it on the table behind the greenhouse on plot 1 and gave it a drink. 

Sunday morning, I was up and dressed bright and early came down for breakfast looked out the window and it was tipping it down. I telephoned and stopped Emma from coming over to help Kelly to keep an eye on Jen and got on with cutting up more cardboard for composting browns down the allotment. 

Sunday afternoon, the rain had stopped, and the sun briefly came out, so I went to the allotment for a couple of hours and Emma met me there to lend a hand. 

13th February planting the grapevine 

I dug a hole for the grapevine deeper than the 2-litre pot than it was currently in and then filling to a level with Equigrow compost such that when standing the pot in the hole that the top of the soil in the pot was at a similar level to that at the edges of the hole.

I used the Equigrow Peat Free Organic Green Compost which I have to say looked nice and black and lush, and filled around the 2-litre plastic pot and compacted enough such that when I pulled the pot out of the ground the shape of the pot was left as a hole.

As all plants I placed my hand over the top of the plant inverted it (turned it upside down) and eased the plant out of the pot and laid it down in front of the hole so that I might look at the root growth and take this photo. 

With the grapevine now planted in line with the vertical wire I added clip to hold the vine in place and watered it in so that the compost at the edges of the hole would be pushed into and make a nice contact with the Equigrow peat Free Organic Green Compost.

4th May 2022 

6th May 2022, Grapevine and path up towards the Greenhouse on Plot 1A, I need to keep an eye on this bed and try and keep the weeds at bay. 

8th May 2022

21st May 2022 Grapevine doing really well and spreading and growing fast

27th May 2022, Watered and trained the Red Grapevine along the wires.

29th May 2022

12th June 2022, The Flame (seedless Red) grape - Flame growing really well but bed needs some weeding again.

21st July Grapevine doing well working its way to the top of the wall.

No photos of the grapevine were taken during August as 
I was too busy doing other things on the allotment  

11th September 2022, Over the last week of rain, the grapevine that I purchased from Suttons this year has really grown, and I need to trim it back and train out some of the offshoots along wires on the wall, a job for the next Tuesdays early evening visit.

14th September 2022 Suttons Flame (Red Seedless) Grapevine has been making steady slow progress during the heat wave, however after a week of rain it had put on a real spurt of growth. 

I spent some time uncoupling vines that were hugging each other and trained them along the wires that I have fixed to eyebolts along the height of the wall

The leaves in the top two runs will turn around and find the sun. This first year is all about trying to form the main structure of the vine that hopefully will have a small show of grapes next year and then more grapes year on year, if the rat with the fluffy tail does not take a liking to them. 

He never ate the seeded grapes from the vine I had on the same wall before replacing with this one.  

18th September 2022 the Flame (Red Seedless) Grapevine has settled into its new configuration and the leaves on the top two runs are now around the right way and facing upwards towards the sun again.

The night-time temperatures are now down to 4.5C and the leaves on the vine are beginning to yellow and I'm anticipating a reduction in growth along the wires, although there is a promise of an Indian Summer in the next couple of weeks, so we will have to wait and see what happens. 

Overall, I'm very happy with the way the grapevine has covered the wall and hopefully next year will be more about pruning for some fruit, and not about additional wall coverage.

UPDATE for 2023

Again because of my health problems I didn't manage to prune the grapevine and reduce the amount of fruit so bigger and better quality grapes formed, but I was staggered as to how well the grape vine produced in its second year. 

I also didn't get many photos of the grapes and the vines growth in 2023. The photo on the left was just as the colour was turning. 

I'm looking forward to a great grape harvest in 2024 and for years to come. 

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