Grapes are useful landscape plants as well as producers of delicious fruit. They are primarily grown for fruit production in home gardens or vineyards where ornamental interest is not a concern. However, grapes do in fact have good ornamental value: bold summer foliage, some fall color, showy fruit and shaggy, twisted trunks often best seen in winter. When grown on fences, walls, trellises, arbors or other structures, grapes can be quite attractive year-round and can provide good cover, screening, or shade to areas around the home.
The grapes most widely cultivated in the Northeast are derived primarily from Vitis labrusca and are referred to as American bunch grapes. Another grape species, Vitis vinifera, is native to southern Europe and recognized throughout the world for its wine quality. Unfortunately, the European grapes are extremely sensitive to cold temperatures common in the Northeast. Many American cultivars offered have been derived from crosses between these two species. These French-American hybrids produce good wines, and are also good table grapes, yet are much hardier than their V. vinifera parent.
Grapes are a delightful addition to any garden. When cultivated properly, they can provide quality eating and drinking. Grapes are best planted in a full sun location sheltered from winter winds (preferably a southern facing slope) and well removed from frost pockets.
Grapes are not particular about soil and do especially well in clay and loam soils that have been improved with organic matter. They will grow best in well-drained soil with a pH of 5.5 to 7.5. Plant the grapes once the soil is workable in spring by digging a hole approximately 1-1/2 times the diameter of the root system. Set the rootstock into the soil, spreading the roots out in a circular fashion. Firmly tamp soil around the base of the trunk. Space plants approximately 8’apart. Trim the vine back to 3-4 buds. No fertilizer is required at planting. Keep the vines watered well during the summer and keep weeds under control. It is best to tie up canes as they grow and keep them off the ground. This will help reduce disease and improve vine training. Grapes need a support system, training, regular spraying and pruning to maximize fruit production.
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT BARE ROOT PLANTS
You may be a little startled when you first encounter a ‘bare root’ plant. This is simply a plant that has had the soil washed from its roots to facilitate shipping, and to help prevent the transfer of soil-borne pathogens and pests. Our bare root plants are shipped to you in a dormant state, just prior to your planting season. Unpack your plants and submerge the roots into a bucket of water for 1 hour so the roots will begin to absorb moisture. Be sure to plant them within 48 hours, before the plants break their dormancy.
SHIPPING INFO: Live products have fixed ship dates based on your location. Garden Galleries products will ship to you directly from our supplier via UPS in early spring unless you specify a later ship week in the Order Notes field at checkout. Shipments continue through late spring until product is sold out. Please see individual product pages for more information and any state restrictions.
Grapes are useful landscape plants as well as producers of delicious fruit. They are primarily grown for fruit production in home gardens or vineyards where ornamental interest is not a concern. However, grapes do in fact have good ornamental value: bold summer foliage, some … Grapes are useful landscape plants as we
Can You Eat Grape Seeds?
Grapes are a popular fruit that many people enjoy for their juiciness.
Most grapes found at grocery stores today are seedless, but some contain seeds.
Similarly to other crops, seeded grapes are grown from seeds, although they’re a result of a genetic mutation that prevents the hard seed exterior from forming. Their vines are grown via a method called cutting, which is similar to cloning and doesn’t require seeds ( 1 ).
This article examines whether grape seeds are safe to eat, as well as if there are any risks or benefits to doing so.
Grape seeds are small, crunchy, pear-shaped seeds found in the middle of seeded grapes. Grapes may have one or several seeds inside.
Some people find that grape seeds have a bitter flavor. While they may not be the tastiest, they’re harmless for most people to eat. If you choose not to spit them out, it’s OK to chew and swallow them.
In fact, ground up grape seeds are used to make grape seed oil and grape seed extract, which have become popular health foods.
However, certain populations may want to avoid eating grape seeds. Some research has found that grape seed extract has blood-thinning properties, which could interfere with blood-thinning medications or be unsafe for people with bleeding disorders ( 2 , 3 , 4 ).
Still, most people likely wouldn’t be at high risk of this interaction simply by eating a reasonable amount of whole seeded grapes. To be safe, always speak with your medical provider to discuss potential risks.
Grape seeds are safe for the general public to consume. While their natural blood-thinning properties may interfere with blood-thinning medications and should be discussed with your physician, this is likely a low risk.
Grape seeds are rich in several plant compounds that may offer additional health benefits when eating grapes.
For instance, they’re high in proanthocyanidins, an antioxidant-rich polyphenol that gives plants their red, blue, or purple color ( 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 ).
Antioxidants are compounds known to reduce inflammation and protect your body from oxidative stress, which can ultimately lead to metabolic syndrome and chronic disease ( 9 ).
Proanthocyanidins from grape seeds may also help reduce swelling and improve blood flow ( 3 ).
Antioxidant-rich compounds called flavonoids, specifically gallic acid, catechin, and epicatechin, are also found in grapes, with the highest amounts in the seeds (10).
These flavonoids have free-radical-scavenging and anti-inflammatory properties, which may be especially beneficial for your brain. In fact, research suggests that they may delay the onset of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s ( 11 , 12 ).
Grapes also contain melatonin, which becomes most concentrated in the seeds as grapes ripen ( 13 ).
Melatonin is a hormone that regulates circadian rhythms like your sleep pattern. Ingesting melatonin may help induce fatigue and sleepiness and improve sleep quality. It also acts as an antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties ( 14 , 15).
Grape seeds are a rich source of antioxidants, flavonoids, and melatonin, which may support heart and brain health, better sleep, and normal circulation.
Grape seeds are used to make dietary supplements, such as grape seed extract (GSE), which many people take for its potential anti-inflammatory and circulation-boosting properties.
GSE is made by grinding grape seeds after they’ve been extracted from grapes and drying them.
It’s a concentrated source of antioxidants, which may help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, slow aging, and protect you from chronic diseases like certain cancers ( 8 , 16 , 17 ).
GSE also contains gallic acid, a compound that some animal and test-tube studies have shown inhibits plaque formation in the brain, which can lead to neurodegenerative disease ( 12 ).
One study found that oral intake of up to 2,500 mg of GSE for 4 weeks was found to be generally safe and well tolerated in humans ( 18 ).
Whole grape seeds can also be purchased. These are typically meant to be used to make tinctures or extracts, or crushed and added to teas, to reap their potential benefits.
Some people may experience nausea or upset stomach from grape seed supplements, but GSE is generally considered safe, and minimal adverse effects have been reported ( 19 ).
Because GSE is much more concentrated than eating seeded grapes, using it should be discussed with your healthcare provider, especially if you’re taking blood-thinning medications ( 2 , 3 , 4 ).
Generally, there’s a lack of evidence regarding the safety of grape seed supplement use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
One study in maternal rats showed that ingesting grape seed procyanidin extract (GSPE) had negative effects on offspring, including insulin resistance. As such, it’s best for pregnant or lactating populations to avoid using it ( 20 ).
The most popular grape seed supplement is sold as grape seed extract (GSE), which may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. You can also buy whole grape seeds to prepare into tinctures or tea yourself.
Though most grapes in supermarkets today are seedless, you may still find some varieties with seeds. This article reviews whether you can safely eat grape seeds.