If you aren’t from the south, chances are you have never heard these names before. The first time I heard the words “Muscadine” and especially “Scuppernong”, I laughed out loud, trying to figure out how these words were really said without the southern accent . But as funny as they sound, this is really what these varieties of grapes are called.
Tonight, we bought three Scuppernong vines from a man who lives close by. Scuppernongs are Muscadines, they are just a “bronze” or golden colored version. Plain ol’ Muscadines are either black or red. These grapes are huge compared to what we are used to seeing in the grocery stores. They are much sweeter too. I am already so anxious to make grape juice and jelly from them! The plants we got are two and three years old, so they should be producing by next summer. (If I don’t kill them, that is.)
The grower suggested that we get different varieties. So, we got a “Tara”, a “Darlene”, and a “Pineapple”. Two are male plants, and one is a female. You need a male to fertilize a female plant, but the males are self-pollinating. You don’t have to worry about cross-pollination though, as each will stay true to its variety.
The man showed us around his property, obviously very proud of the orchard we saw there. He puts a lot of time into training and pruning all of those plants by hand. The ones we got from him have already been trained up a 5 ft bamboo stick, and are ready to be trellised. I asked a lot of questions, and he was more than happy to give me all of the advice I needed on how to plant and grow them.
We really should have had the trellis system in place before getting the plants… but if you’ve been following me for any amount of time you know how we do things. We do plan on getting it all set up in the next day or so though. Once it’s finished, I’ll do a “How To” post on planting and trellising grapes.
I’ve been wanting grape vines ever since we moved out here! I’m so happy to finally have some ready to go. I really hope they make it. It will be so wonderful to have grapes every summer! Maybe next summer, if we do this right.