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Varieties








Out of the 2000 or more Vinifera grapes, probably not more than a
score are grown under glass, and of these but a half dozen are
commonly grown. Black varieties have the preference for indoors,
especially if grown for the market, where they bring the highest
prices. They are also as a rule more easily handled indoors than the
white sorts. However, as we shall see, one or two white kinds are
indispensable in a house of any considerable size.

Of black grapes, Black Hamburg carries the palm of merit because it is
most easily grown, best stands neglect, is a heavy producer, sets its
fruit well, the grapes mature early; and, in particular, it meets the
requirements of the unskilled gardener better than any other grape.
The clusters are not as large and the flavor not as good as that of
some other sorts.

Muscat of Alexandria is the best of the white varieties. It is,
however, a hard grape to handle since it requires a high temperature
to bring it to perfection, is a little shy in setting fruit and the
grapes are not very certain in coming to maturity; it also requires a
long season. A good quality is that it may be kept long after cutting,
much longer than Black Hamburg.

For an earlier white grape, Buckland Sweetwater has much to recommend
it; it ripens from two to three weeks earlier than Muscat of
Alexandria and is much more easily grown. It is good in quality but
not of high quality. Buckland Sweetwater may be well grown in the
house with Black Hamburg, whereas it is almost impossible to grow
Muscat of Alexandria in the same house with Black Hamburg.

Muscat Hamburg is a cross between Black Hamburg and Muscat of
Alexandria, and is an intermediate in most fruit characters between
these two standard sorts. It is not, however, very generally grown,
although it well deserves to be because of its large, beautiful,
tapering clusters of black grapes of finest quality.

Grizzly Frontignan adds novelty to luxury in the list of indoor
grapes. The fruits are mottled pink in color, deepening sometimes to a
dark shade of pink, and are borne in long, slender clusters. The
grapes ripen early and are unsurpassed in quality but are, all in all,
rather difficult to grow.

Barbarossa and Gros Colman are the two best late black grapes,
especially for those who are ambitious to grow clusters of large size
with large berries. Both are very good in quality. Neither of the two
is particularly easy to grow, since they require a long time to ripen;
but, to offset this, both keep longer than any other sorts after
ripening. Because of the large size of the berries, thinning must
begin early and must be rather more severe than with other grapes.
This variety is now largely grown in England for exportation to this
country in early spring.

White Nice and Syrian are two white sorts which attain largest size in
clusters, specimens weighing thirty pounds being not infrequent, but
are coarse and poor in quality and are, therefore, hardly worth
growing.

Alicante is a black sort often grown for the sake of variety, since it
departs from the Vinifera type rather markedly in flavor. The grapes
have very thick skins and may be kept longer than those of any other
variety.

Lady Downs is another late-keeping black grape of highest quality, but
difficult to grow. The bunches and berries are small in comparison
with other standard sorts, characters that do not commend the variety
to most gardeners.

Perhaps a dozen more sorts might be named worthy of trial in American
graperies, but the list given covers the needs of commercial
establishments and will meet the wants of most amateur growers.





Next: Planting And Training

Previous: The Grapery



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