Delicious Grapes

    • Colorful petunias will brighten up any flower bed. Their purples, pinks and reds make a real splash when planted in groups of the same color.
    • Prune rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas to shape them now. If you wait much longer, you will be cutting off next year’s flowers.
    • Start seeds of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and other cool-season crops now. Transplant them to the garden next month and they will be producing for you this fall.
    • Roses need water and fertilizer to keep blooming well throughout the summer. Watch for pests and treat immediately to prevent infestations.
    • Feed annual blooming plants and hanging baskets every two weeks for prolific bloom. Keep dead flowers pinched off.

Tastes of Summer

Local grape grower and aficionado, Richard Jeske, is offering a dozen varieties that do particularly well in the Willits area. Most are American grapes rather than European grapes. American grapes have a looser skin that slips off the grape more easily with soft flesh and a distinctive aroma and flavor. American grapes are hardier; resistant to many insects and diseases (powdery mildew, etc) and mature earlier in the season, so they ripen in milder climates.

European grapes usually require a long, warm growing season and have firm fruit with nonslip skin and a smooth flavor. There are also many hybrids that are crosses between the two types.

Grapes can also be seeded or seedless. Many people prefer seedless grapes for fresh eating, but many of the best tasting varieties have seeds. The seeds, by the way, are good for you.

Himrod is a white, seedless grape that is dependable and delicious. Grapes are sweet and vines are very productive. Use them fresh or for raisins.

Venus is a blue grape that hangs in large, beautiful bunches. Very vigorous and productive, it is good fresh and for making grape juice. Glenora is another seedless blue grape with small grapes like blueberries. It is delicious for fresh eating.

Reliance is a productive red grape that ripens over a long season. It is very dependable and one of the best in our area. Eat them fresh or dry them for raisins.

Delight is the most popular European, seedless grape in this collection. It is a white grape, similar to Perlette but with more flavor. Eat them fresh or dry them for raisins.

Sweet Seduction is an appealing white grape with outstanding muscat flavor. It is a favorite in taste tests and is also good for raisins and juice.

If one does not mind seeds, Concords are of course a classic choice. But Muscat grapes are also very good in this area. Golden Muscat is a long time favorite for home gardeners. This white grape is sweet and juicy and a heavy producer. New York Muscat is a blue grape with an outstanding flavor. Use it fresh or for juice or wine. Muscat St. Vallier is another white muscat with great muscat taste.

Seneca is one of the first grapes of the season. This mouth-watering white, seeded grape is delicious fresh or for juice. And Suavis is one of the later grapes. It is a red, European grape with a unique and delicious flavor. Use it fresh or for juice or wine.

Grapes are a wonderful fruit for the home garden. They are easy to grow and very productive. Protect your crop from birds and other critters and enjoy the delicious tastes of summer.

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