Several hardy seedless grape cultivars have been released within the last two decades, and preliminary research (for example, this SARE Farmer Grant) indicates that some of these varieties are well suited to production in southern NH. Long-term research to evaluate performance, and to determine the optimum training system for these cultivars, is needed. In this project, we are evaluating eight table grape cultivars under three training systems: vertical-shoot positioning (VSP), top-wire cordon (TWC) and modified Munson (MM).
We will look at several traits, including bud survival, incidence of diseases, plant vigor, yields, fruit quality, and maintenance time required. To do this, we have planted a research vineyard suitable for this research and adaptable to future research objectives with these table grape cultivars at the NH Agricultural Experiment Station in Durham, NH. Our primary goal is to produce research-based information on which to base recommendations for growers interested in establishing table grapes in NH, and to disseminate this information to growers throughout the region.
The main project leaders are George Hamilton (Extension Field Specialist, Hillsborough County) and Becky Sideman (Extension Professor, UNH).
The project is funded by the NH Dept. of Agriculture, Markets and Food through the Specialty Crop Block Grant program, and is also supported by the NH Agricultural Experiment Station and UNH Cooperative Extension.