Temperate Fruit & Orchards > Temperate Fruit Discussion

More temperate, less tropical for zone8

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--- Quote from: Pokeweed on December 31, 2022, 09:35:27 AM ---Thanks for the input. I planted 12 chikasaw plums about 5years ago and I think 2 survived so far. Our mayhaws are finally producing and although mustang grapes are invasive, muscadines struggle. We have several figs. They set good breba crops, but later crops cook in the Summer sun. I've tried chinese chestnuts, but they don't like our Summer. I have lots of osage orange, should graft a che onto one. Regards, D

--- End quote ---

I've been experimenting with grafting plums to flatwoods plum (the only truly long lived prunus species in my area). It seems to be working well, so far. Muscadines do fine here. I wonder why they would struggle for you. Do you have alkaline soil?

Our soil is somewhat calcareous and a bit alkaline. I don't remember the ph. I've used sulphur as a spot amendment around plants, but no momentous effects. Early on I used a mulch the local feed store sold that was a manure/plant mix with good results, but they stopped selling it in bulk and bags got expensive fast.

You just need the right grape. A native hybrid. Muench is a good one. Not sure how it would do in your soil but otherwise should do well. Champanel. Not sure how well my Florida grapes would do there but it's a similar soil and climate other than warmer here. Florida calusa grape/shuttleworthii is closely related to mustangs though slightly less acidic slightly better berry not as cold hardy. I really like them and try to get a lot of shuttleworthii in the mix of my hybrids. Pecans do well in Texas you need a southern variety though Eliot would be really good also the best tasting one.

I don't think muscadines care for alkaline soil. That may be the problem. You might actually have better success with a bunchgrape hybrid grafted to a rootstock for alkaline soil (like your mustang grape). I have read about experiments where bunch grapes have been grafted to muscadine, too. I wonder if it would work the other way around? You may want to get a prunus rootstock adapted to alkaline soul as well. It would probably save a lot of work trying to adjust soil ph.

The original scuppernong is from north Carolina. Most muscadines are based on that foundation but with newer varieties they are crossed with Florida and Mexican muscadines for various traits.

Wild muscadines are weeds in south Florida and will choke out other vegetation and literally everywhere. Berries tiny decent to eat other than small size. Domestic muscadines will grow here. But don't do as well. Florida soil tends to be alkaline though varies depending where you are at usually slightly alkaline not a lot. Shuttleworthii prefers slightly alkaline or neutral soil similar to mustangs grapes.

So it depends what kind of muscadine you plant. South Florida muscadine munsonia would probably do well but these are wild types. I don't keep track of pedigrees but some munsonia have bunches so have been cross bred into modern muscadines for bunching. Those might do better. Like southern home has regular vinfera like less than 10% then has Florida, Mexican and traditional muscadine in the cross. It does fairly well in Florida unlike a traditional muscadine which grows and survives but doesn't thrive here. Though muscadines are not very productive here fruit wise so I wouldn't recommend them strictly for the crop.


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