Need an Opinion Fast

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

The grapes are still on the vine, and holding up fine in our 25-degree nights.
Tonight is supposed to be 18F.
Tomorrow is supposed to be 2F.

Should we harvest our grapes tonight or tomorrow? Will they be OK if it's 18F?

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Don't know but I wouldn't bet on 18F. The sugars and minerals in the water cause a freezing point below 32, but not lots below.

Santa Fe, NM

OOOh. Quick but no help with this. We harvested our grapes back in September. Are they ripe? I'd go ahead and get them. Or maybe take in the ripest and leave the rest to see what happens. Big help, huh?

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

Thanks, guys. I'm going out to pick 'em now. They're almost ripe, so they can sit inside a few days before we juice them.

Santa Fe, NM

Picante, D.H. says, "pick 'em". So we have a consensus.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Oh to have grapes to juice!

Centennial, CO(Zone 5b)

ice wine is made from grapes that have been frozen and slightly dehydrated. It's really expensive, and really GOOD.

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

Grapes are in the garage.
They are seedy, but the juice is out of this world. It will cure whatever ails you.
We freeze it in ice cube trays and then use a couple cubes in our smoothies.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Great ideas -- both greenjay and picante. Perhaps someday my grapevines will bear and I will get to try both!

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Nice! I meant to plant grapes this year but didn't get to it. Enjoy... they sound great!

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

I luv ice wine too but it is really hard to make. The grapes have to be harvested at exactly the right time according to a show I watched on it and you only end up with a little juice relative to the amount of grapes you have. I think the seeds in grapes is important. They give your tonque a contrast with the plump sweet fleshy part so the plump part tastes better. That's why I think seedy grapes are better than seedless grapes.

Santa Fe, NM

Glad you are enjoying the grapes! It's a little early for me. : )

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Ah well, too late for my fast opinion, but that's a good thing as it would have been a totally uninformed one.

Here's a slow opinion tho, Picante you did the right thing by those grapes!

;-)

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

Yes indeed, Kyla. Nice to have you chime in. Grapes are still waiting to be juiced, as I have just finished the seemingly endless plum endeavor.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Hmm. Plum servitude does not sound fun, tho it is a nice color on some.

there are fruit trees at both of the houses we are applying to rent. ;-)

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Ooh, you will love having fruit trees. Flowers in spring, fruit in the summer -- sometimes.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Yes, indeed I shall!

Helena, MT

Julie, this may be a dormant thread but thought I would add my 2 pennys worth. My grapes which are the same variety as yours and from the same source are still on the vine. Since we just planted the vines this spring there weren't very many clusters and the grapes were small so we left them for the birds. Even after two snows the grapes appeared eddible and I tasted several to find they were still sweet. Don't know if that means much but I would agree with comments that there must be a good time to harvest for the perfect juice or jam/jelly. I haven't even had a chance to trellis my grajpe plants because of the late harvest. Hoping the second year will do better on production. Rasberries (2nd year) had phenominal growth but few fruits. Next year should be better for these as well. We did have a bumper strawberry crop this year and an apple tree that had not produce in four years go crazy on us, nearly breaking the branches with the fruit clusters which were noticable void of the ususal worms. It's a crazy valley we live in when it comes to fruit crops and a real tomato challenge with the chanook winds and late spring frosts. But wait until next year...I am going to beat Mother N with my latest revisions to tomato cages...tomatoes by July...not Sept! I may blog this cage idea if anyone asks, but I will expect you to come help me set it up...bring DH-S and we can party!

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

Hey, Morgan, DH will be into that! He's thinkin' hard on the very same thing.

You know, last year we harvested our grapes on Oct. 30 or 31st. Are yours still plump or shriveled?

Helena, MT

Julie, checked the remaining 15 or so clusters on two of the plants and the grapes were somewhat larger but shriviling. Leaves are all dried out and plants appear dormant. I tasted one of the grapes and it tasted like a bad wine. I can't recall exactly. but it seemed to me that the really cold snaps we had last year were a littile later in October. It sounds to me like it is crucial that grapes be picked before the sub-freezing weather arives. Next season we expect to have a decent crop of grapes and make jellies for the grandkids. They loved the strawberry and strawberry/rhubarb jelly from this year. Also, did some gooselberry jelly, which I have not tried, and have not received any reports back. Those berries all came early, so weather was not a problem. I would assume that the best way to tell if the grapes are ready is just to pick them, and when they appear ripe go for it. My problems is I eat the fruit off the vine while working in the garden. As a kid my aunts banned me from berry picking because I ate more than I picked. Still do!

m

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