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Old October 31st, 2005, 01:19 PM
James James is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Upstate New York
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Starting grape plants from seed

Hi! This is my first board posting ever and I would like to start some concord grape vines from seed! I have grapes in my fridge with seeds in them and would like to know where to start? Do I pull the seeds and stick em in some starter soil and then under a grow light for the winter or should I wait? I have been trying to grow some nice vines for a few years from starter plants I bought from a local nursery and they keep dying on me and it's kinda expensive to replace them each year. I'm just dying for about 20 or 30 nice vines to grow. All help is much appreciated! I am also looking for an email grape vine mentor who is experienced and can give me some guidance now and then so whatever I get growing stays alive and actually produces fruit! Someone patient enough to take me right from square one onward. Thanks J
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Old October 31st, 2005, 04:12 PM
Ralph Walton Ralph Walton is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Denman Island,BC
Posts: 634
Re: Starting grape plants from seed

Hi James and welcome to the forum.

Your first and most important question has to be "why are they dying?" Lots of grapes are grown in New York State, but Upstate New York is not specifically familiar to me. Do your neighbors grow grapes? If so, what varieties? There's usually a reason. How are your soils? Grapes need a well drained site. Ground temperatures in hollows can be several degrees colder than the surrounding slopes.

OK, so you've determined grapes can grow there.

Grape seeds are not (generally speaking) easy to germinate as they have a very high proportion of dormancy. The only usual reason for growing from seed is following intentional cross pollenation to develop a new variety. I don't have actual figures, but I would guess that over 99% of grape propagation is by clonal methods (cuttings, grafting, micropropagation).

The folks who do try to grow from seed have chemicals and equipment that you are unlikely to have (gibberellic acid - GA3, and climate controll cabinets for daily alternating temperatures for 6 weeks), but some that you can approximate.

Try refrigerating for 90 to 120 days(1-5 deg C), followed by warm stratification at 30 to 36 deg C for 2 days then soak in 0.5M hydrogen peroxide for 24 hours, then germinate at 30 deg C with 12/12 hours light /dark. Well drained, moist potting soil or a home blend of 1:1:1 sand:peat:perlite will work fine.

As for timing, once they have sprouted you must be able to provide them with Spring weather, either the real thing or a greenhouse/ growing room. Plant them out well after the danger of frost has passed.

Good luck.

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Old November 1st, 2005, 01:36 PM
James James is offline
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Location: Upstate New York
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Re: Starting grape plants from seed

Thanks for the help Ralph, it is much appreciated!
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Old March 8th, 2011, 02:58 PM
plantingkeita plantingkeita is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Isabela, Puerto Rico
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Re: Starting grape plants from seed

I live in Puerto Rico (zone 11, maybe?). I planted about twenty seeds in a pot in full sun. I dug them out of purple grapes, rinsed and dried them (about 24 hours room temp in a paper towel) and stuck them in some potting soil. It took about three weeks, and now I have eight seedlings. They seem to be growing well, and I even notice a couple more seeds starting to bend and turn as if plants are happening. Hopefully I will get some viable vines!
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