book review by Bob Cannon
I can't say that I read author
Lon Rombough’s new grape book.
it is closer to what happened. I’ve done this before, but with authors
as Robert Heinlein, John D. MacDoanld and most recently Ben Bova; all
which write (or wrote) fiction. Many of our readers may know Lon
Grapes have always been an elusive crop for me. Coastal Florida is
generally thought to be too hot and humid for ‘real’ grapes. Of course
we do have
native grapes but most are a bit strong for nibbling out of hand. With
in mind I was truly surprised at how much I enjoyed Lon’s book.
The reader can tell that not only is The Grape Grower written
by someone with experience but by an author who can share what they
have learned. Subtitled: A Guide to Organic Viticulture readers
are presented with clear and concise information and methods – not
The opening three chapters; Structure of the Vine, Getting Started and
Pruning and Training do much to prepare the prospective
most seasoned rarefruiters can plant properly, gaining an understanding
vine structure as related to producing a healthy, fruiting plant is
for this crop. I went back and reread the information on training and
that I comprehend the how and why involved in what has always been a
Following chapters on problems (disease, insect, birds…) prepare the
grower for success. I found the disease information clear and it helped
me to understand what is a complex subject. Fortunately many of the
diseases are regional
and there are an increasing number of resistant varieties of plants
The book finishes with information on propagation, varieties and
species and specialized information for both cool and warm climates.
There is also a chapter on breeding and a very useful glossary and
There are illustrations by Elayne Sears and some excellent photographs
by the author. The Grape Grower, Winner of the 2003 award for "Best
In Writing" from the Garden Writer's Association.
The Grape Grower
by Lon Rombough.
2002 by the author. ISBN 189013282-9 Chelsea Green Publishing Company.
Soft bound, 8x10, ixv, 289 pages, index, $35.00.
I highly recommend this book to
anyone who is
serious about growing grapes, be it one plant or many. If you buy
through the link below the proceeds help us bring you more articles and
Rombaugh also provides a wealth of information on hardy but
little-known grapes that are native to North America, and on a wide
range of topics, including:
- pruning neglected or overgrown vines
- growing grapes on arbors and in greenhouses
- controlling animal pests in the vineyard
- bunch grapes and muscadine grapes for the South
- winter protection, and how to increase the hardiness of
- creating your own new varieties
You can follow this link for your own copy of The
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