grapes

19 Aug

The garden always slows down at this time of year, but the very high temperatures in July as well as lack of rain brought everything to a complete halt.  It’s been almost a month since my last post; that’s how long it’s been since anything new has bloomed in the garden.  Quite a few flowers bloomed through the heat wave, but nothing new.  What a difference a little cool down and a couple of good rains make.  Several late season plants are budding and I should have more flowers to post in the next week or so.  In the meantime, I was surprised to find the grape vines so full of fruit.  Normally I don’t worry about pruning them correctly to harvest because the birds get all the fruit anyway;  I let them ramble at will and cover the gazebo, creating a nice shady bower–a good place to take a break on a warm day.  But this year either the birds have lost their taste for grapes or the crop was too large for them to handle. Maybe they’re full from eating all the blackberries.   At any rate,  I picked about six quarts of grapes yesterday and there’s about that many left to pick.   I’ve decided to clear the mass of vines and do it properly for a change, so I’ve been pruning as I harvest.  Grapes fruit on second year vines, so that means getting rid of all the old ones; it’ll be a big job because it’s been neglected for so long.  The blue concord vine was not very productive, which is a shame because those make the best jelly (and the birds don’t seem to care for them, so there are usually some left for me).  Most of what I picked were red seedless.  I’ve never tried them in jelly, so we’ll see how that works out. 

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