Host: Gary Bachman, Ornamental Horticulture Specialist
Muscadines are a popular home crop in Mississippi because of their natural adaptability and long vine life today on Southern Gardening.
One of the true native southern fruits that many homeowners enjoy are Muscadine grapes. Muscadines grow well in the heat and high humidity of Mississippi and in late summer will reward the homeowner with their sweet, fruity flavors. Muscadines should be planted from November through February.
The basic Muscadine plant has a trunk and cordons or lateral arms that are trained on trellises for support. Trellises in home plantings are of simple design. The most popular is a single horizontal wire attached at a height of 5½ feet above the ground, attached to posts 20 feet apart
This spacing allows the main arms or cordons on each plant to grow up to 10 feet in each direction on a horizontal trellis. The fruiting spurs develop on the cordons. Commercial growers use a more sophisticated double trellis system.
Muscadines require consistent soil moisture for good fruit production. The use of drip irrigation t-tape run down the rows can help ensure the moisture needs of the vines are met.
There are over 60 named varieties of Muscadines. Three of the most popular for the homeowner to grow in Mississippi are:
Carlos, is a high yield variety having bronze skins and medium sized fruit.
Doreen, has bronze skinned medium sized fruit.
And Noble, has heavy yields of purple fruit.
All three of these are self fertile varieties that are excellent for juice, jelly, and wine.
Muscadines are great for the homeowner and are not difficult to grow. Whether for table, juice, or even wine, home-grown Muscadines are a delicious addition to your landscape.
I am horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.