Harvesting Grapes

by on September 10, 2012


Many people are beginning to appreciate just how easy and rewarding it can be to grow your own grapes at home.

Likely the biggest challenge you will encounter when growing your own grapes is when it comes to harvesting grapes. This is not to say that picking grapes is all that difficult, but you will find it a challenge to see your grapes through to maturity and harvest them before the local birds do. To protect your crop from our avian friends, one of the urban gardener’s best friends is garden netting. Nothing will keep birds and other grape thieves at bay better than netting will, and it doesn’t involve harsh toxic chemicals either.

Don’t give in to the knee-jerk reaction that may tell you to pick those immature grapes before the birds do, either. You want your grapes to fully mature prior to picking them or they will never reach their full flavor. That is because grapes will not ripen any further once they have been picked.

When fully mature, most grape cultivars will turn from the immature green to the familiar purple, blue or red and take on a whitish hue.

Many varieties can be stored in the right conditions for as long as 8 weeks. Ideally they should be stored at 32F with a high relative humidity. Most refrigerator produce drawers can meet this requirement. If you have more than can be easily stored, jellies, jams and preserves are easy to make and can be stored for a year or longer.

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