General description: Buffalo is a table grape cultivar that was created in the USA. Thanks to its frost resistance, it was very well received in Baltic countries.
Fruit: This grapevine produces medium-sized, round, navy-coloured grapes with a characteristic bloom. They have very sweet flesh that leaves a strawberry aftertaste. Buffalo has elongated, medium-sized, cylindrical grape bunches that weigh around 200-300 g each.
Ripening: Buffalo grapes ripen at the turn of September and October.
Leaves: This grapevine has quite large, lobed, light green leaves. In autumn they take on shades of yellow and red.
Cultivation requirements: This grapevine requires a sunny and warm location. It prefers fertile, permeable, slightly moist soil, and doesn’t like heavy, wet substrates. It can be cultivated throughout temperate climes, even in areas with a climate unfavourable for other grape cultivars. Seedlings should be planted every 1-1.5 meters, 10-15 cm deeper than in the pot they came in. Very small seedlings should be planted in a shallow hole and only covered wholly with soil in autumn. This significantly increases the frost resistance of grapevines and increases the efficiency of watering freshly planted vines.
Care: To build a powerful root system, grapevines need a lot of water. Caring for a newly planted seedling is basically limited to systematic watering. It is especially important to pay attention to watering in early summer and as the grapes ripen. Each young vine requires up to three buckets of water per watering, but the soil must not become too waterlogged.
Pruning: In the first year after planting, it’s recommended to keep only one to three stems. In the following years, trimming depends on how the vine is to be shaped. Thinning out in order to obtain high quality fruit is advised. Generally, stems should be pruned strongly, and care should be taken whilst selecting which stems and shoots are to be cut, to leave well-fruiting ones on the vine. It is best to leave pruning until late winter (near the turn of February and March) or in summer during vegetation.
Props: This grapevine is perfect for growing on all kinds of fences, pergolas and arbours, trellises and other garden support structures.
Overwintering: The Buffalo grapevine withstands temperature drops of down to -20°C, however it is recommended to protect the plant for the winter (for e.g., by using agrotextiles). At the beginning of November, cover young seedlings by piling a mound of soil with peat about 30 cm in height over the plants. This not only insulates them from the cold, but also shields them against flooding during the thaw.