One of the things we love most around here is homemade jelly/jam/preserves. Strawberry is number 1, but our next fav is a toss-up between blackberry and grape. Concord Seedless Grapes are the perfect thing to grow for jelly. We bought six grapevines from Willis Orchards and they sent us seven, so we're going to have lots and lots of grape jelly! The plants arrived dormant with bare roots, so we soaked them for a few hours before planting. Excuse the lack of beauty in this photo, but what else do you put muddy plants in besides garbage pails, tubs, and coolers? The garbage pail and tub are filled with fruit trees we planted in the orchard, and the green cooler is filled with grapevines.
The math for grape jelly is as follows:
One bunch of grapes equal about 1/2 pound.
A healthy vine will yield about 10 pounds (or 20 bunches).
Five pounds (or 10 bunches, or 1/2 the vine) will yield 12 jars of grape jelly.
Do you see my problem yet? If I jelly all of those grapes, I will have 168 jars of grape jelly every year. Yeah. 168. So, obviously, I need to find something else to do with all those grapes. I ran across an article (here) with recipes for juice, popsicles, sorbet, and my favorite, Concord Grape and Rosemary Focaccia. Oh, be still, my beating heart! So yummy!!
So before we can make all those amazing recipes, we need to get these vines doing the climbing grapevine thing. We put 6.5' x 4" posts in the ground and drilled holes at 3' and 5'. We're in middle TN and don't need to worry too much about getting posts below the frost line. If you're in snow country, you may need longer posts.
We poked 9-gauge wire through the holes and secured it on the outside of the posts with Anchor Vises. The whole process took about an hour for four posts. These anchors are amazing and simple! They are worth every penny.
By the end of the season, I expect our vines to look exactly like this! I stole this pic from someone else, and I'm dreaming hard that I can post my own picture within the next couple years.