Growing grapes for raisins

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grahamhobbs
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Growing grapes for raisins

Post: # 268909Post grahamhobbs
Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:53 pm

Haven't got space for a vineyard on my allotment, but have been thinking about growing seedless grapes to eat but also to mainly make into raisins. Thinking to grow them outside in pots, moving them into the polytunnel in late August (once the sweetcorn are out of the way) to give that extra bit of heat to finish them off and then to dry them in a solar dryer.
Has anyone had any experience of doing this in an English climate?

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safronsue
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Re: Growing grapes for raisins

Post: # 268917Post safronsue
Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:26 pm

not in an english climate but we have some seedless grapes, small green ones, that i put in our new made solar dryer. they didn't come out well though, the skins were very thick and tough and dominated all. not succulent. perhaps we overdid them.
good luck with your vine.

grahamhobbs
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Re: Growing grapes for raisins

Post: # 268920Post grahamhobbs
Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:42 pm

Safronsue, do you know what variety your grapes were? I understand that the grapes actually need to be reasonably sized and with good water content to start with. The main variety traditionally used is Thompsons Seedless, but there are newer seedless varieties suitable, Dovine, Flame, and Perlette. Currants are made with a small grape Black Corinth or Zante.

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Odsox
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Re: Growing grapes for raisins

Post: # 268922Post Odsox
Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:47 pm

I had the same idea Graham, but things have conspired against me so far.
3 years ago I bought a seedless black grape vine for drying as raisins and planted it in my greenhouse. The first year of course it didn't flower and the second year it produced a few bunches of tiny green grapes that were absolutely full of seeds.
I complained and got a replacement, although I chose a green variety this time for sultanas and planted it last winter. Hopefully next year I will see if the 3 year wait was worth it.

Before I bought the first vine I tried drying bought grapes and it worked very well, so hopefully .........
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

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diggernotdreamer
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Re: Growing grapes for raisins

Post: # 268923Post diggernotdreamer
Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:03 pm

Being a bit thick, but how do you grow them in pots to move, my experience of grape growing is that they grow quite a bit, and would require a framework of some kind

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Re: Growing grapes for raisins

Post: # 268924Post GeorgeSalt
Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:30 pm

I have three Perlette for the allotment vineyard currently buried in their pots waiting on lifting winter crops to make way for their bed (I think that's the third variety I have, I'll have to find my notes to be sure). I'll be pruning soon, I'll shove the prunings into the ground and see if they strike in the Spring. If they do I'm sure they'll post ok.. .. ;)
Curently collecting recipes for The Little Book of Liqueurs..

grahamhobbs
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Re: Growing grapes for raisins

Post: # 268925Post grahamhobbs
Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:49 pm

Diggernotdreamer, yes you no need some framework - a simple solution I have seen is a 9" pot with 3 bamboo canes about 4' long pushed in, with a plastic water pipe 'ring' formed at the top with holes in the bottom to accept the tops of the canes. The vines were then grown to this height and then pruned each year so they had six or so branches hanging down over the ring. Pots need to be put into the ground to keep them stable.

Odsox, thanks for confirming you had no problem drying grapes and yes good idea to make sultanas, as I believe lots of commercial ones are treated with sulphur to keep them 'golden'.

Geargesalt, my experience is that vines take very easily from cuttings. So as long as your original was from a good source, we don't have a problem with phylloxera so grafting is not necessary in this country.

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marshlander
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Re: Growing grapes for raisins

Post: # 268934Post marshlander
Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:38 pm

I'd be happy if I actually got some grapes on my grapevine!
Terri x
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frozenthunderbolt
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Re: Growing grapes for raisins

Post: # 268942Post frozenthunderbolt
Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:44 am

to help them dry, dip each bunch into BOILING water for a few/10 seconds it splits the skins and helps to allow the moisture to evaporate
Jeremy Daniel Meadows. (Jed).

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