Seedless Table Grape Variety Evaluation Grown on VSP Training System

2011 Annual Report for FNE10-692

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2010: $9,388.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2014
Region: Northeast
State: New Hampshire
Project Leader:
John Lastowka
Lastowka's Maple Gate Farm

Seedless Table Grape Variety Evaluation Grown on VSP Training System


Seedless Table Grape Variety Evaluation Grown on VSP Training System
October 2011 Interim Report

Lastowka’s Maple Gate Farm & Vineyard
183 Amherst Rd
Merrimack, NH 03054

Farmers and growers that sell agricultural crops directly to the consumers are looking for new crops to expand their marketing opportunities. Our project will be looking at seedless table grape varieties that are adaptable to southern New Hampshire as a new crop to market.

Based on discussions I have had with UNH Cooperative Extension, we selected sixteen different seedless table grape varieties. Ten vines of each of fifteen varieties were purchased from two nurseries and planted in May of 2010. We planted the sixteenth variety in the spring of 2011.

We were to document winter die-back for each variety and bud survival of the winter. Date of bud break (first growth) was to be recorded along with the dates of six inches and twelve inches of vine growth. Due to drought in the 2010 growing season, very wet spring of 2011 and personal health issues, we did not record these items this year.

Nine of the grape vines of the 150 grape vines planted in 2010 did not survive the winter and had to be replaced in 2011. Due to the drought in the 2010 growing season and very wet spring of 2011, we do not feel that we can say that grape vine losses were due to winter die-back.

****See Grape Vine Growth Document 1 below

Temperatures were recorded during the year. A Watch Dog weather station was used to monitor temperature, humidity, wind speed, gusts, rainfall, leaf wetness, ground temperature and ground moisture. The weather station is powered by a solar panel and it sends all of the data via a wireless modem to a computer in my office for analysis using SpecWare 9 Pro software.

Reviewing the winter cold air temperatures, the coldest temperatures recorded were a minus 11 degrees on January 24,2011 and a minus 8 degrees on February 2. There were a total of 11 days below zero during the winter of 2010-2011 and they occurred in January and February.

We conducted a fruit pruning demonstration at the farm on March 26. George Hamilton and Jon Nute, UNH Cooperative Extension of Hillsborough County, conducted the demonstration. They pruned apple, peach, cherry, and pear trees, and blueberry bushes. That afternoon George Hamilton, UNH Cooperative Extension, conducted a special meeting on “Pruning/Care for Young Grape Vines” and we had 28 individuals attending the meeting. Several individuals have visited the project during the past summer where I share my experiences.

We trained the grape vines on to trellis to the Vertical Shoot Positioned (VSP) system throughout the growing season. The grape vines were fertilized according to soil test recommendations. Grape vines were sprayed throughout the growing season for insect and disease problems. We did notice that some of the grape vines were more prone to downy mildew. We will be monitoring which of the grape varieties seem to be susceptible to this disease.

Grape vine growth was evaluated twice during the growing season in July and October. The best grape vines growth were given a rating of 5 and the grape vines with the least amount of growth were given a rating of 1.

***** See Above: Grape Vine Growth Document 2

Next year we will need to replace some additional grape vines: Einset (2), Canadice (2), and Vanessa (1). These three varieties are planted in a wetter part of the field.

UNH Cooperative Extension is assisting me with monitoring the progress of the grapes throughout the season. My technical advisor from UNHCE is extension educator George Hamilton, in Hillsborough County, who has a great deal of knowledge about grapes. George has done pruning demonstrations at my farm for the last six years, demonstrating the pruning of apple, peach, pear and cherry trees along with high bush blueberries and grapes. George has observed the vineyard throughout the spring, summer and fall.

It is too early to talk about the amount of grapes each variety produces and their quality; it will be at least one or two more years before we have any produce.

John Lastowka
October 10, 2011

Objectives/Performance Targets


Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes


George Hamilton
Technical Advisor, Extension Educator, Agricultural Resources
UNH Cooperative Extension - Hillsborough County
329 Mast Rd - Room 101
Goffstown, NH 03045
Office Phone: 6036416060