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Small Fruits

March 2012

QuestionI have a scuppernong vine that has gotten out of control. I was recently told to cut the vine down to the ground and let it restart. This seemed a little extreme and I am not sure I would be brave enough to do this to mine. What are your thoughts on this advice?


AnswerIs it producing well? If it is, then there is room to salvage it. Scuppernongs are a type of muscadine grape and they can be quite prolific. You also need a male and a female plant to get fruit. I would try to prune it back by 1/3 – ½ and try to keep it pruned to a trellis or fence. If left to its own devices, it can grow up into your trees and all over your landscape. Growing in the shade of a large tree can cut down on its production. It does much better in full sun. Make sure to prune annually to keep it growing and producing to its full potential.

July 2006

QuestionA couple of years ago, I was gifted with two Thompson Seedless Grapes vines. They grow beautifully each year and put on a few grapes, but not as many as I'd like. I suspect that I'm not trimming them properly, but I'm unsure of the correct way and time of year. I'm also unsure of how much water they need. I would appreciate any advice you could give me concerning their care.


AnswerWhen we buy fruit crops for our home gardens, we often look at varieties that we are familiar with from the grocery store. Thus we see a lot of Thompson Seedless grapes, Bartlett Pears and Red Delicious apples in home gardens. These aren't always the best varieties for our climate. However, you have them now, so let’s try to make the most of your planting. Table grapes need to be pruned hard every year in February. We normally count buds on the vines, leaving a minimum of ten buds for young vines and a maximum of sixty buds for older more vigorous vines. Each bud can produce at least a cluster of grapes. If you don't prune enough, table grapes tend to ripen one grape at a time in the cluster, instead of the whole cluster ripening. Water when dry throughout the growing season and monitor for insects and diseases and spray accordingly.


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