Friday 4 October 2019

Black Hamburg

One of this year's great successes has been the grape vine in the greenhouse. Over the last few years I have been carefully training two main stems growing along the greenhouse roof in parallel lines. Last summer it had completed the 16' length of the roof. 

Over winter the regular pruning regime has been to cut all the side shoots back to one or two buds and any unwanted stems were also removed. During the current growing season some of the bunches of fruit that were forming were thinned out (you need to be steely firm here) so that the retained ones had more room and were more or less evenly space out. The growing tips of new side shoots were also pinched out.

The result has been an amazing crop of grapes conveniently hanging down from the greenhouse roof for ease of picking. We have been munching bunches of grapes on a virtually daily basis and continue to do so, and any visitors have also gone away with a complimentary bunch or two.  If I had anticipated such a bounteous harvest of grapes I  might have invested in a steam juicer, not being much of a brewer, for future consumption. As it is we are for the time being indulging in a 'luxury' crop. 

The variety is a well-known one: Black Hamburg. It is a reliable dessert grape and I can testify to its sweetness. I might also add that grapes (and indeed tomatoes) taste much better at room temperature rather than chilled from a refrigerator. In fact, once I have finished the daily task of watering  I generally sit down on a nearby bench with a freshly picked bunch of grapes from the warmth of the greenhouse and stare around me for a bit.

Black Hamburg is widely available. I got mine
from Victoriana nurseries


  1. They look great. Are you going to make wine in the future?

  2. I might do Dave. No cider this year as the apple crop has been the worst ever.

  3. Is your greenhouse heated? I like to have a go at this but concerned about winter temperatures. Plants such as geraniums rarely survive in there.