Take the most popular grapes in America (See the Concord's incredible history below), and remove the seeds. That was the assignment, and that's what the hybridizers did. Same great taste. Same rich dark blue/purple color. But no seeds. A great backyard vine.
The incredible story of America’s Great Grape, the Concord:
Ever seen a “grapevine wreath,” those natural-looking wound-around affairs of irregular, dried grape vines? Well, if your wreath was made almost anywhere in the eastern US, it’s made of Vitis labrusca, the common wild “Fox” grape you’ll find in almost any eastern woodland, hanging from the trees.. That’s the same vine that interested a man named Ephraim Bull of Concord, Massachusetts, back in the 1840’s. But he wasn’t making wreaths.
Mr. Bull was determined to “look about to see what I could find among our wildlings.” And look he did—he evaluated over 20,000 seedlings of the wild vines until he found what he considered the “perfect grape”, the flavorful, deep purple classic we all know as the “Concord”. Today, the original vine, still growing, can be seen at Concord, MA, a very historic suburb of Boston. (You’ve heard of Concord and Lexington, and the “Shot Heard Round the World?” Same town.)
Anyhow, Mr. Bull introduced his grape to the market in 1854, and another man named Dr. Thomas Welch became very interested. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Welch knew many of America’s tee-totaling churches were against using wine in their communion services, and developed Welch’s Grape “Juice” for two markets. First, it was perfect for the churches, but he also sold it as a healthy family drink like other “juices,” a totally new use for grapes. It is one of America’s great marketing stories, and continues today. Anything “grape colored" is now purple, even though grapes themselves are purple, red and green, as we all know. It's a tribute to the innovative pioneers that made the Concord grape America's favorite.
Choose a spot in the garden with good drainage in full sun. America’s favorite seedless table grape. Heavy producer once established. p>
1. Plant in early spring as soon as your soil can be worked. Grapes will grow in most well draining soils with pH preferably between 5.6 and 6.4.
2. Place your rooted cutting in a hole large enough to spread roots in a downward outward fashion.
3. Fill hole, tamp soil around grape and water well. Prune cutting back to a single cane leaving 2-3 buds.
4. After danger of frost is past and growth has begun, remove all but the 2 strongest shoots per vine.
HARVEST TIME: Mid season
HABIT: Grapes require pruning and adapt well to many different shapes and forms. Ornamental trellises, arbors, or fences may be used to support your crop.
USAGE: Fresh eating, jams and jellies, juice making, wine making, desserts and raisins.
PLANTING TIPS: Keep well watered and weed free to ensure a good crop. Established grapes well adapted to your climate will produce grapes for many years. Prune your vines in early spring remembering that they bear fruit on one year old wood.