Table Grapes in Winter
Updated: Apr 7
Gerry and I wanted to update you on our SARE Table Grape Project and wish you a Healthy and Joy filled New Year! We will be wrapping up our grape research and education project in the Spring of 2023, and wanted you to know about the educational materials that will be available to our Stakeholders and share our insights on the Winter resting period.
All grape varieties in temperate climates have a natural resting period in the Winter. Many of our varieties have genetic parents that are temperate. Most of our varieties also have genetics from subtropical wild parent lines that do not have a resting period. If we were in California, grape leaves would begin changing their color to yellow and red in the late fall and then naturally fall off and be dormant in the Winter protecting themselves from a frost or freeze. Here in Hawaii, we don't usually go below 55 degrees here at Kawanui Farm in Kona, but still, this resting period precedes the pruning period that will occur in early February each year. This Winter period gives the grapes a chance to rest putting more of their energy into root growth.
This year, after the summer production period, the Chinese Beetles helped us remove some of the leaves and we also saw a natural leaf drop from the vines also. In November, Gerry removed all the rest of the leaves, creating a mulch layer under the plants, and by the first of December they looked like this.
We will be sending out a short survey in January 2023 asking if our educational outreach in the form of Blogs, Videos, Photos, Resources, and Instagram over the past 2 years was helpful to your learning about growing grapes in the subtropics. Look for that email in January and we appreciate your feedback.
Also, in March 2023 you will receive an email announcing our Grapes for Hawaii Booklet that can be mailed to any Stakeholder that would like a personal copy. The booklet contains Chapters on each stage of growing grapes in Hawaii, knowledge that we have discovered through our research that began in 2015, and will be useful to anyone who would like to plant grape varieties in their garden or on their farm.
Please continue to post any photos of grapevines you have growing this Winter on our Instagram page #grapesforhawaii The photo on the right shows the structure of 2 1/2 year old 13B (Shuttleworthi crossed with Alden) showing growth potential in the subtropics.
As always we appreciate your continued interest in our Table Grapes for Subtropical Hawaii research and education project and look forward to sharing more this Spring, and in the future. Updated Blogs, Videos, Grape Resources, and Photos are available on our website. www.kawanuifarm.org
Although our SARE project ends in April 2023 we will continue offering our insights into the development of grapes varieties for Hawaii! Grapes are a deeply nutritious addition to any home garden or farm.
Happy New Year,
Gerry Herbert and Nancy Redfeather
Kawanui Farm, Kona, Hawaii