Q: What grapes varieties would you recommend growing in the Atlanta area for eating, jellies, and jams? Also, where can they be purchased?
A: There are two types of grapes from which to choose: muscadines and bunch grapes. Muscadines are native and rarely have pest problems in this part of Georgia. Their sweet juice and pulp is a September treat for many Southern gardeners. Unfortunately, their thick skin precludes grabbing a bunch and munching away. You have to take a moment to spit out the skin before swallowing the juice. Carlos, Fry and Triumph are among the best muscadines.
Some varieties of bunch grapes can also do well in Georgia. In the northern third of the state, Fredonia, Delaware and ‘Niagra’ are good choices.
I always recommend you go to your local nursery first when looking for fruit plants, as long as you trust their plant quality and accuracy of variety names. If they can’t help you, call Johnson Nursery in Ellijay (706-276-3187), Lawson Nursery in Ballground (770) 893-2141), Isons Nursery in Griffin (770-599-6970) or Bottoms Nursery in Concord (770-884-5661).
Be aware that some nurseries only ship their plants in winter and early spring. You might have to pick up your grape vines directly if you want to plant them at this time of year.