I decided to plant three colors of muscadines: Supreme (black), Florida Fry (bronze), and Darlene (red). Special thanks to Danny Gabb for the Supreme and the Florida Fry. I ordered the Darlene muscadine from Ison's in Georgia. They've got everything muscadine at Ison's, and I recommend them highly. I also order strawberry plants from them every year, and have ordered fruit trees from them also. I planted the vines at the base of the corner posts, and have been training them to the structure using 14-gauge wire recycled from an electric fence. Every time I'm out there with the kids I pinch back any side shoots to encourage the vigorous growing tips to follow the wires.
All of the vines have grown very well, and I fully expect them to reach the ends of the trellis wires by the end of the growing season. I rigged up a drip irrigation system to keep them well watered, and so far the kids haven't been too rough with the vines or the drip lines. This spring, only the Florida Fry flowered and set fruit. Of the varieties I planted, it's also the only self-fertile one. It has around 7 or 8 clusters of grapes, each with 5 to 7 grapes, which I can't wait to ripen so the kids can pick them. If the birds don't find the grapes, I'll be posting a follow-up blog entry in August when they do.