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Texas Gardening: Is this a mustang grape?

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covenantgarden
(Carol) Euless, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 14, 2013
10:38 AM

Post #9483567

I found this growing in the chain link fence behind our shed. It's as tall as the fence. If it is a mustang grape, I definitely want to keep it. Could I transplant it safely? I wouldn't mind it taking over the fence, but would have to check with my neighbor.

Also, there's a turk's cap on the same fence that I'd like to move. It's been there several years, but is only about a foot and a half tall right now (lots of winter dieback). Do they transplant well?
TexasDollie
Windcrest, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 14, 2013
12:59 PM

Post #9483696

That does look like a mustang grape. We're covered up in them down here just south of San Antonio. Before you do anything but KILL IT, be aware of two things. One: it can and will grow to over 100 feet and can strangle a small-to-medium tree by creating a shade over it like an umbrella. And two: if it's a female, you will have grapes. They are sour, make a really great wine if you know what you're doing, and will be spread by by birds so that you'll have grapevine seedlings at the base of every tree in your yard eventually.

Not trying to say Kill It straight out, but just know what you're in for. We currently live on 1.3 acres of dry savannah sand, and the drought doesn't phase them. The back half of our lot is fenced with 6' ft chain link, which is a lot to cover so I don't mind the HUMONGOUS male vine that has pretty much covered the back corner for 30 feet in both directions...but it grows half a foot a day, so I must constantly prune it away from nearby trees. There's a female vine out front, which I decided to "train" across some trellises, because I do like the wine from them. She's laughing at my poor excuse for a trellis-arbor and will overwhelm it in another year, but the HOA said I can't build anything that looks like a fence out front.

I find grape seedlings all over the place. They're easy to pull if you catch them young, but if they get a few seasons' growth, they'll get so deeply rooted that even heavy-duty stump and brush killer will only make them wilt a little before they come right back.

The trunk on these can get 8" across, given enough years. They're really magnificent, but they're also really invasive. Just sayin'. :~)

P.S. I didn't know what I was doing the first time I made wine from these grapes...when they say "add de-acidifier", add it. Talk about sour wine!!!
covenantgarden
(Carol) Euless, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 14, 2013
5:23 PM

Post #9483990

Those are some good points to consider. I already patrol the fence lines and bases of trees for snail seed, cow vine, and hackberries, so one more intruder wouldn't matter. I don't know that I would ever harvest the grapes if it's female, I would mainly keep it to feed the birds. It is a pretty vine, though. Thanks for sharing the pics and info.
TexasDollie
Windcrest, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 14, 2013
5:37 PM

Post #9484018

I got so wrapped up about the grape I forgot to comment on the Turk's Cap. They transplant really well. Also root from cuttings or seed easily, so if you want to propagate from that one once it's established, it's easy to do. The hummingbirds sure love them!
covenantgarden
(Carol) Euless, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 14, 2013
7:49 PM

Post #9484204

Thank you!

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