Luxurious grape vines (Vitis spp.) , which develop in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 2 through 10, provide welcome summertime shade and greenery, not to mention that sweet fruit. Seedless grapes in particular provide quick snacks without the bother of seeds. Mediterranean climates are ideal for cultivating a vine or two, and a backyard fence might offer sturdy support with a few alterations. However, it’s also important that you know your lawn’s microclimates and design can make growing seedless grapes in your fence more complex.
Location and Cultivar Choice
Grape cultivars possess their particular climate preferences, so not all kinds for your own zone will work in your particular location. For instance, hotter, sunnier inland regions of Mediterranean climates that don’t find cool and misty during the night in the summertime are suitable for growing “Thompson Seedless” (Vitis vinifera “Thompson Seedless,” USDA zones 7 through 9), the classic green seedless table grape. Coastal places that have cooler nights in summer would not be suitable for “Thompson Seedless,” however they could be suitable for varieties like “Black Monukka” (Vitis vinifera “Black Monukka,” USDA zones 8 through 10). There are grapes available for both colder and warmer regions, which means you should be able to find one that you can develop. However, you must focus on the cultivar’s own needs and not simply the zone amounts.
Microclimates and Cultivar Choice
What direction your fence faces and what it’s made from can help determine the climate right from that place, no matter your zone. For instance, if you are living in a hotter, warmer part of the region, but your solid hardwood fence is on the west side of your lawn, grapes on the side of the fence within your lawn won’t become much sunlight. In case your neighbor to the west contains tall trees that block out the sunlight after midday, that will decrease sunlight exposure and the day temperatures. That place in your lawn could end up using a microclimate that is slightly cooler than is suitable for a cultivar like “Thompson Seedless,” and it just may not get enough sunlight for any grape cultivar. Spend some time observing the place where the fence will be to make sure that sunlight and temperature demands will be fulfilled. Search for tall trees in neighbors’ yards that may block the sunlight when they have all of their leaves in the summertime, too.
They Want Their Space
Seedless grapes must be planted at least 75 feet from seeded grape types. Seedless varieties undergo a procedure called stenospermocarpy, where the seeds that develop within the fruit remain little and unviable. The vines still have flowers and require pollination to set fruit, however. That means that if you’ve got a seeded variety nearby, you could acquire small seeds forming on your supposedly seedless grapes throughout that season if the seeded variety’s pollen ends upon the seedless variety’s flowers. Organic Gardening notes that most grape varieties have been self-pollinating, but that’s not going to avoid a flower cluster from using pollen from other plants if that pollen lands.
You can buy disease-resistant grape cultivars, but “resistant” does not mean immune. Organic Gardening warns that good ventilation and air circulation round the plant is essential if you would like to decrease the chances of the vine growing diseases. Set the vines toward the middle of the fence, as opposed to close the corners. Put in trellis support wires that maintain the vines a short distance before the fence, instead of on the fence itself. Put the initial wire 1 1/2 feet above the ground, and then place extra wires above that with 1 feet in between each wire.