Anyone know anything about growing grapes?

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by Kolijah, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. Kolijah

    Kolijah Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 29, 2014
    West Virginia
    We have a little grape orchard. It gets big and beautiful every year except the grapes rot on them before they even ripen (like 75% of the grapes). Out of the 25% I'd say did get ripe... around half of those taste rotten even though they're ripe and look fine. We were thinking maybe its because the grape vine might be too big and need trimmed back.

    Anyone have any ideas? We're debating whether to just pull it out and start over or if we should attempt to trim it? We know nothing about this and it was hear when we moved in...

    Sorry the picture is of my dog eating a squash. But it's the only pic I have that shows the grape vine and how big it is...

  2. RyanGriffeth

    RyanGriffeth Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 6, 2015
    Prune them back to just the main vines. They need pruning every year just at the end of winter. Spray with an organic anti fungal treatment and mulch well. Should clear up the issues. Oh and try not to prune more than 50% of the vines. That might throw them into shock.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2015
  3. Donner

    Donner Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 19, 2010
    Issaquah, WA
    I am growing wine grapes in Western Washington, so I suspect I have completely different issues than West Virginia and eating grapes. But,grapes grow from buds on last year's growth. I use cordon cane for my mini vineyard, so a trunk with an arm to each side. I prune last year's canes down to about 2 or 3 buds near the cordon in to make sure I get 1 or 2 buds to grow the next season. The goal is to get just the right amount of fruit that the plant can ripen by early October.

    Mine are only 5 years old, and eating grapes can grow more based on what my mom's Thompsons Seedless does. So, per Ryan's response and looking at the giant vine you have getting it under control a bit is probably the best way to get good grapes. It probably just cannot properly ripen as many grapes on as many branches as it has
  4. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 22, 2011
    Midlands, South Carolina
    I agree with pruning them, and spraying them regularly during the growing season. Look up some directions on pruning grapes.
  5. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2011
    suburbia Chicagoland
    Are you sure they're not 'wild' grapes? Here in IL, there's a variety of 'wild' grapes that only the birds kids tried them several years in a row and said they were "nasty".

    Our Concord grape vines we prune in the middle of winter (about now, February), taking the canes which grew last year and cutting them back to just 2 or 3 'buds'. When we first re-invigorated the vines, we had ones that looked like yours - completely overgrown. I searched online and found some good University Extension sites with great descriptions and photos. We hacked out well over 70% of the vines (much to the neighbor's angst). There were no grapes that season. However, the next season, our crop was so much that we simply couldn't handle it all......It's a 75' long series of vines (I think there's 9 plants?) - and produced 10 bushels of grapes! Seriously! The next year, we were more careful with our pruning....and the harvest was a more modest 6 bushels. We've gotten about 6 bushels every year since.

    Good luck! The efforts are worth it.
  6. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 22, 2011
    Midlands, South Carolina
    You raised a good point. An especially hard prune, may mean no fruit the following year. They can get to the point where you have to though.

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