Growing Grapes in your TX Backyard
So, you would like to grow some grapes? Well, you’re in the right state.
Texas is home to the most native varieties in the world. These vines evolved over thousands of years resistant to disease and bugs and are used as rootstock throughout the world. (For more of the story, check out http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/southerngarden/Texaswine.html). In fact one of the rootstocks used is named Dogridge, and it is named for the ridge on the north side of Stillhouse Lake, right in the heart of Bell County.
I find that the biggest obstacle to growing grapes is the birds, deer and raccoons. For a quick video overview, check out http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/archives/video/detail.php?vidid=73&size=largevid
The next problem is selecting the appropriate variety. It is highly recommended that you chose a variety that is resistant to Pierce’s Disease. Among commercial growers, Black Spanish (a.k.a. Lenoir) and Blanc Dubois are the most favored. A comprehensive list can be found at http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/extension/fruit/piercegrapes/pdr.html and also at http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/extension/fruitgarden/figure3.html
Now that you’re ready to buy, head on over to Womack Nursery, http://www.womacknursery.com/grapes.html. While you’re there, pick out some rasberries, peaches and pecans for your yard too, so you won’t be so disappointed if the grapes don’t work out!
For advice on building an arbor, check out http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/extension/homefruit/grapearbors/grape.html
And for more research, there are plenty of good articles at http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/lawn_garden/ and http://winegrapes.tamu.edu/.