The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

French hybrid vs. American grapes

French hybrid vs. American grapesNearly every other day, I've been picking Japanese Beetles off our grapes, brambles, and cherry.  Sunday morning, I started to notice that our Japanese Beetles are showing a definite preference for the thinner, entirely green leaves of our yellow grape (which I thought was Golden Muscat, but now am not so sure about) compared to the thicker, white-undersided leaves of Steuben.  In fact, only a few of the Steuben grapes had been touched.

Turns out that the distinction isn't just in my garden.  This Ohio Extension Service factsheet notes that the thin leaves of French hybrid grapes (bred from a mixture of European and American ancestors) are far more susceptible to Japanese Beetle damage than are the thick leaves of American grapes.  Steuben is a perfect example of an American grape while our yellow grape is probably a French hybrid.  This page gives a longer explanation of the two types of grapes, if you're interested.

Since I actually prefer the purple fruits of Steuben to the yellow fruits of the other grape, I'm tempted to pull out the latter in favor of the former.  For now I'll let the yellow grapes grow, but I think I'll start considering them to be expendable.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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