The best grapes to grow for eating are the ones that you enjoy. However, if you look at the market for grapes, the ones listed as table grapes are the ones usually considered popular for eating straight off the vine. Tables grapes are not too sour or seedy and need lots of heat and water to produce a sweet flavor. There are hundreds of varieties of grape cultivars and what you grow depends on your geographical region.
Table grapes need water and plenty of it, ranging from 20 to 30 inches per year. If the rainfall in your area is less than that, consider installing drip irrigation to meet the needs of the vines. If you are in a rainy area, make sure the soil is well-draining so the roots of the grape vines are not sitting in water for long periods of time.
Table grapes need heat for sugar production. However, along with heat and rain comes fungal problems that often wipes out whole vineyards. Table grapes usually require dry climates or at least areas where there is good air circulation. Choose the side of a hill instead of the valley if you have a choice, where the air currents tend to move more.
Some varieties of table grapes suited to grow in cooler areas are the Alden, Golden Muscat, New York Muscat and Steuben. Although growers often plant the Concord, Niagara, Catawba, Delaware, Diamond, Esprit, Fredonia, and Villard blanc for wine and juice they are also enjoyed as table grapes. In California, the major table grapes are Thompson Seedless and Flame Seedless, followed by Red Globe, Ruby Seedless, Crimson Seedless and Perlette.
Table grapes require heavy pruning of the vines and often fruit thinning to produce large and sweet grapes. Choose grapes native to your area, or at least to a climate similar to yours to reduce the amount of pesticides and soil amendments necessary to keep the vines and fruit healthy.
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