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Higgins Grape
Grapes Muscadines Vine

HIGGINS MUSCADINE GRAPE VINE

$15.99

Planting and Care Facts (pdf)Zone: 7-10 Grape Size Info

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Product Description

 Higgins Muscadine Grape – Older Variety Still a Good One!

One of the oldest muscadine grapes out of the University of Georgia breeding program. Higgins vines are heavy producers of whopper size bronze grape with pink to reddish-bronze skin. Fruit is delicious eaten fresh. Fruit is 17% sugar and ripens early to mid September. Female grape vine needs a self pollinating variety to set fruit. Zones 7-10.

Note: We’re so sorry… but due to agricultural restrictions we cannot ship any plants to international countries, or the states of California, Hawaii and Alaska. Also, no citrus trees can be shipped outside of the state of Florida.

Additional Information

Pot Size

2 Gal

Plant Height

2-3 Ft.

Planting Zone

7-10

Pollinator

Needs Self-fertile variety

Ripening Season

Early to mid September

Choosing the Right Grape Vine Variety…

 Triump Muscadine Grape FruitMUSCADINE GRAPES Most Southerners have picked muscadine grapes growing in the wild as children. Sometimes called Scuppernongs or fox grapes. These spicy-sweet, thick-skinned grapes are an old Southern favorite and can still be found growing wild throughout the lower South. They thrive with little care, and the vines remain productive for 100 years! Modern breeding has brought us a wonderful range of varieties: wine grapes for the home vintner and jelly maker, plus delicious fresh-eating varieties, which can be as large as golf balls! Some muscadine grapes are self pollinating, while the female varieties need a self-pollinating variety to help them set fruit. 

Noble Muscadine GrapeBUNCH GRAPES Finding varieties of bunch grapes that will grow well in the south is somewhat of a new occurrence. From Northern Carolina, south to Florida, and west to Texas, grapes are subject to injury and  loss by Pierce’s Disease. Thanks are largely due to the Universities of Florida, Mississippi and Texas, we can now enjoy several varieties of bunch grapes. Because of these Pierce’s Disease resistant grape varieties, Florida, Georgia, and the Carolina’s now have thriving wine industries. Many of the wines created from these varieties have won awards on the national level and are treasured for their unique flavors.

POLLINATION

Grape Flowers MUSCADINE GRAPE varieties are either self fertile, meaning they will bear without another grape close by or females. The females need to have a self fertile variety within 30 foot to bear a crop. If you want only one grape, choose a self-pollinating variety. Choose at least one self-pollinating grape to pollinate up to four females.  If you are planting several rows of female muscadine grapes, ideally every third grape in a row should be self-fertile to pollinate adjacent female plants. 

BUNCH GRAPES All of the varieties of Pierce’s Disease varieties we offer are self fertile.

Landscaping with Grape Vines…..

Grapes Muscadines VineyardGrapes add a touch of old world charm to any landscape. With large, lush leaves and gnarled, shaggy-barked trunks, grapes are particularly attractive with clusters of fruit hanging down through the foliage. Use them on fences to divide areas or create hidden gardens within your larger landscape picture. Train them over a patio for a living roof that’s cool and shady, but drops its leaves in the winter to let the warm sun in. They can also be trained into small weeping trees for interesting accents in the border or in a large container.

LEARN WHERE AND HOW TO PLANT YOUR GRAPE VINES (Open Me)

SITE SELECTION AND CORRECT SPACING FOR GRAPE VINES

Grapes do well on a wide range of soils, but rich sandy loam or clay loam soils are preferred. Grapes do not tolerate flooding and may grow poorly in mucky soils unless planted in raised mounds. Plants will grow more vigorously and produce more fruit in full sun. Grapes prefer slightly acid soil (pH 6.0-6.5), but soils of up to moderate alkalinity are tolerated. If you are in doubt about the acidity of your soil, take a soil sample to the Cooperative Extension Agent in your county for a soil test.

SPACING GRAPE VINES

 Space grapes 20 ft. apart. 

GETTING THE SOIL RIGHT AND PLANTING GRAPE VINES

Planting GrapesThe grape should be planted in the middle of the main posts of your trellis. Dig a planting hole approximately three times the width of the pot and at the same depth as the root ball. Set that soil aside and mix it 50/50 with either aged mushroom compost, aged manure, or rotted pine bark & aged manure/mushroom compost. Remove the plant from the pot, gently loosen the root ball and place in the planting hole. To avoid burying too deep, make sure plant is positioned with the top most roots at the soil line. Fill the planting hole with the mix of soil and organic matter; gently tamp it in. Water thoroughly to settle the roots and eliminate air pockets. Do NOT put fertilizer in the planting hole. Only apply fertilizer if it is the correct time of year (see Fertilization section below). 

MULCHING GRAPE VINES

 If desired, construct a water basin around the base of the tree approximately 36 inches in diameter. Mulch in spring and summer with approximately 4-6 inches of mulch. Pull mulch a couple of inches away from the trunk for good air circulation.

 

LEARN HOW TO BUILD A TRELLIS and TRAIN YOUR GRAPE VINES (Open Me)

Single Wire Trellis SystemYou do need to train grapes to a trellis to get them to fruit. It’s a little more work to start with, but the result is a long-lived, productive vine. The single wire trellis is the simplest method, and the one most used by commercial growers. Two and three wire horizontal trellises offer great possibility for use as living fences. The tee bar trellis is our personal favorite. It offers the greatest yield for the least amount of labor in pruning and is the easiest to pick. Overhead arbors are beautiful additions to the orchard and offer a wonderful place to sit and rest and enjoy the view. They’re a little more work to set up and prune, but well worth the effort. We’ll explain the single wire and tee bar trellises here, but the same construction principles apply to all trellises. For any trellis, choose sturdy materials designed to last the life of the vine. Posts should be pressure treated lumber at least 4X4 in diameter and 8 ft. long; wire should be at least 9 gauge in diameter. Your goal in training your muscadine vine is to grow the vine in a form that will produce fruit over many years. The basic shape (modified somewhat depending upon the trellis you’ve built) is a single trunk 5-6 ft. high and 2-4 arms each 10 ft. long. For a single wire trellis, you’ll train the vine to a single trunk and 2 arms, each 10 ft. in length with fruiting spurs at 6 in. intervals. For any double wire trellis (including the tee bar), you’ll have 4 arms, each 10 ft. long with fruiting spurs at 6 in. intervals. For an arbor, you’ll figure out how to shape your vine’s arms over the top of the arbor while keeping the 2 or 4 arm structure.

Single Wire Trellis SystemSingle Wire Trellis: Set 8 ft. main posts 20 ft. apart, sinking posts 3 ft. deep. Sink dead man support posts 3 ft. deep approximately 7-8 ft. from each end post in your row of grapes, angled away from the last main post. Attach trellis wire from the end dead man post, across the top of the main posts and to the end dead man post using heavy duty wire staples. Install turnbuckles between the end posts and the dead man posts so the trellis wire can be tightened as needed over time.

Year 1: Your goal is to train the vine to the trellis, developing a single trunk. Choose the strongest shoot on the vine and remove any extra shoots. Use a stake or a string tied to the trellis to wind the shoot around so it will grow to contact the trellis in the middle of the 2 main posts. Pinch the shoot tip off when the vine reaches the trellis level.

Training Grapes Years 1 and 2Year 2: Your vine should have reached the level of the trellis and you should have pinched out the tip. Several shoots will form at the tip. Choose the strongest 2 shoots and train them along the trellis wires in opposite directions. You’re done when the arms reach 10 ft. long and the vine looks like an elongated “T”. Do not allow the arms to wind around the wires. Shoots will grow from the young arms and all should be allowed to grow to produce the first fruiting spurs. Remove all extra shoots from the trunk as needed. 

LEARN HOW TO FERTILIZE AND WATER YOUR GRAPE VINES (Open Me)

FERTILIZING GRAPE VINES

The type of fertilizer you choose may be chemical or organic. Make sure that the fertilizer contains iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium, molybdenum, copper and boron. These minor elements are very important to plants and most soils are low in these elements. Application rates vary according to age of plant. See chart below. The amount of fertilizer applied increases each year until the 5th year after planting. 

See chart below.

FERTILIZING GRAPE VINES
10-10-10 or 10-0-10 with minerals

YEAR 1

Sprinkle 1 cup (½ lb) in a 2ft circle around each plant in late February, late May and late July

YEAR 2

Sprinkle 2 cups (1 lb) in a 4ft circle around each plant in late February, late May and late July

YEAR 3

Sprinkle 4 cups (2 lbs) in a 6ft circle around each plant in late February and late July.

YEAR 4

Sprinkle 6 cups (3lbs) in a 6ft circle around each plant in late February and late July.

YEAR 5

Sprinkle 8 cups (4 lbs) in a 6ft circle around each plant in late February and late July.

Espoma Citrus Tone

(Organic)

 

YEAR 1

Sprinkle 2 cups of Citrus Tone in a 2ft circle around each plant in late February, late May and late July.

YEAR 2

Sprinkle 4 cups of Citrus Tone in a 4ft circle around each plant in late February, late May and late July.

YEAR 3

Sprinkle 8 cups of Citrus Tone around each plant in a 6 ft circle in late February and late July.

YEAR 4

Sprinkle 10 cups of Citrus Tone in a 6ft circle around each plant in late February and late July

YEAR 5

Sprinkle 14 cups of Citrus Tone in a 6ft circle around each plant in late February and late July

To maintain established grape vines (6th year and older), spread 10 cups (5 lbs)

10-10-10 (10-0-10) or 20 cups Citrus Tone per vine in a 6ft area in late February and late May. Spread the fertilizer evenly avoiding a 5-inch area around the trunk. Water or rake in. For Zones 8a-10, fertilize 3 times each year in late February, late May and late July/early August. For plants further north (Zone 7), fertilize in March or after bud break. Never fertilize after August (June in Zone 7) as this will promote new growth late in the year which will be subject to freeze damage.

Grapes need more magnesium than many other fruit. Magnesium deficiency shows as a progressive yellowing between the veins of older leaves and may cause premature fruit fall. To prevent or correct magnesium deficiency, Epsom salts can be applied at the rate of 2-4 ounces for 1-2 year old vines and 4-6 ounces for older vines (recommended application rates from the Georgia Cooperative Extension Service). Spread the Epsom salts over a 6 foot circle around each plant. 

WATERING GRAPE VINES

The first year is a critical time for the establishment of a new grape. Water thoroughly twice a week on light soils and once a week on clay soils. Soak the entire root system deeply – this usually takes 45-60 minutes. Grapes should receive at least 1 inch of water each week for best growth and fruit production. Water regularly, especially during dry periods. Fruit may drop prematurely if insufficiently irrigated during dry spells.

LEARN HOW TO PRUNE YOUR GRAPE VINES (Open Me)

PRUNING GRAPE VINES

Muscadine Grape After Pruning 1Fruit is produced on new shoots developing from the previous year’s growth. In Year 3, canes produced the previous year should be pruned to approximately 3 in. long in January or February. These canes will produce several shoots that will fruit during the following summer. These new shoots will be cut back to 3 in. the next winter, forming the first fruiting spurs.

Depending upon the growth rate of the plants, spurs will need to be thinned in Year 5 or 6 after planting. During the winter pruning, remove every other shoot, aiming for a fruiting spur every 6 in. on each arm. Choose spurs on the top of the vine, if possible. Allow a few extra shoots to grow from the arms to form replacement spurs as the vine ages. Remove tendrils twining around the arms or spurs to prevent girdling. 

LEARN HOW TO CONTROL INSECTS AND DISEASE ON YOUR GRAPE VINES (Open Me)

Triump Muscadine Grape FruitDisease and insects on muscadines grapes are rare. When fruit is close to ripening you may have fruit rots occur. If so spray vine with Bordeaux or Neem . Occasionally you may be bothered by Flea Beetles or Aphids on the vines. Use Neem or Pyrethrin, if damage is present.

Bunch grapes can be more susteable to fruit rots and other fungus issue. Avoid over head water to keep the leaves dry. Neem and Bordeaux  spray will control most of the common problems. For a complete run down of insects that can attack grapes in the south see the publication Insect Pests of Grapes in Florida. For people that want to learn more about how to grow grapes organically here is a good publication from Cornell University Production Guide for Organic Grapes.

Always remember that good disease resistance begins with the health of the plant. Plants stressed from lack of water, not enough sun or being under fed are more susceptible to disease and insects.  Maintaining good sanitation practices in the vineyard is most important. The removal of diseased and dead wood, and picking up fallen or rotting fruit off the vines as it occurs, will go a long way in keeping disease and insects at a minimum. Spray at first sign of an issue, rather than waiting until the problem is out of hand will go a long way to keeping your plants healthy and fruiting properly.