Tooele County gardener has harvest of tasty grape treats

By Larry Sagers

For the Deseret News

Published: Sunday, Oct. 16 2011 3:00 p.m. MDT

"The major problem is controlling wasps that have the irritating habit of showing up just as the grapes are getting ripe and stripping as many grape clusters as I will let them. I've learned that the wasps are so busy eating and are so engorged that they pretty much ignore you."

His solution is to fill a spray bottle with a half-half mix of water and low sudsing soap. He applies this to the grape clusters three or four times a week to diminish the wasp population and increase his harvest.

After picking, he rinses the grapes to remove the residue and soapy taste.

"I've began utilizing proven production pruning methods and have seen both the overall size of the vines contained into 8-foot spaces, and a remarkable increase in grape production," he said.

"I've not had any major pest issues, such as 'skeletonizers.' In fact, that problem hasn't happened at all. Nor — at least until now — have any deer visited. Gophers sometimes make their way into the area, and I control them rapidly."

He handles weeds by tilling the open areas and mulching around the bases.

The irrigation lines run along the bottom support wire to assure that they are up and out of the way for tilling.

Grapes might be a great plant for your garden. Select the right cultivars, build good trellises and give them the right care. Your reward will be a bountiful harvest with some of the tastiest treats you can imagine from your garden.

Garden tips

Wasatch Community Gardens is holding a winter composting class on Oct. 22, 10 a.m.-noon, at the Grateful Tomato Garden, 800 South and 600 East. Fall is a great time to clean up gardens and to start composting. Registration required at wasatchgardens.org.

The Utah Orchid Society's fall show is set for Nov. 5 and 6, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., at the Red Butte Garden Orangerie.

In addition to all the vendors on hand, there will be an open forum discussion on the culture and care of orchids on Nov. 5 at 2:30 p.m.

Regular garden admission applies; members get in free.

Larry A. Sagers is a horticulture specialist for the Utah State University Extension Service at Thanksgiving Point.

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