How many grape clusters to leave on 3 year old vine?

silent88March 29, 2013

I was trying to figure this out, but I couldn't seem to find a good answer. How many grape clusters can I leave on my grape vine? This will be it's third growing season. Last year I left about 5 and the birds ate them all! Speaking of which, has any one tried paper bags? Thanks! Oh, and it's flame seedless variety.

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Its been a while since I looked it up exactly, but I think it was 12 full sized leaves that are required to ripen a single cluster. So its not so much about the age of the vine, but the size.

As for the birds, that one is fairly easy to take care of with your setup there. Just get some bird cloth and tent it over the railing. Birds can't eat what they can't reach.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 1:43PM
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Thanks! But, how do I know how many leaves it will have? Right now it hardly has any, but by the time the clusters ripen it will surely have 5-10x more leaves.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 2:16PM
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I saw a neat video last year on bagging wine grapes with
paper bags. Put out by Perdue? I can't quite remember
but I think it was Perdue.

Anyway, as a test I bagged a cluster of my Canadice grapes in a paper bag early July last year. Then I forgot about it.

A week after I picked my crop, I noticed the bag. When I
tore it open the cluster of grapes was colored well, sweet
and very delicious just like the video showed on the wine

I stapled the paper bag over the grape cluster and was sceptical about it lasting thru the season but it was
fine at harvest time. I am not sure if paper bags will solve your bird problems but perhaps if they don't see the fruit they will avoid it.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 10:44AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I won't leave more than about 8 clusters on a vine that small. Even that might be too much. It depends on how well it grows in the next few months. That size vine is just barely big enough to fruit.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 12:18PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

I'm puzzled with the lack of leaves and canes. Our vines at 4 years were producing a gallon of wine each. Are you clipping back the canes in spring? There should be a lot of canes off that cordon reaching up. These provide the nourishment that help your vine to grow. The trunk seems really weak for a vine of that age. Is it in shade? They need full sun.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 12:49PM
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Raw_Nature(5 OH)

I don't mean to hijack this thread but I have grapes coming in any week.. I have no clue how to prune them,etc.. I research then it say it depends what grape you have, very confusing.. Anyone have any good books or web pages that will help me out?

Appreciate it,

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 3:12PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b


Search You Tube with Keyword's Grapevine Pruning. Dozens of Videos!

Have fun!


    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 5:05PM
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Raw_Nature(5 OH)

I did put they always say that it depends what variety grapevines.. Very confusing.. Don't you prune different varieties different? Or do you prune all grapes the same? Can someone clear up the confusion?


    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 6:36PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


Mainly there is cane and spur pruning. Most can be grown cane pruned. A few yield better spur pruned. And spur pruning is cheaper and easier for commercial growers. I've grown dozens of varieties of table grape all by cane pruning.

Silent's vine right now is cane pruned. He has saved one cane of last years growth in each direction. Next year he could convert to spur by leaving what's there now and about 3-4 buds on each shoot that arises this year. If he wants to continue cane pruning he'd remove as much as possible of those two current canes and save two or more of this summers canes that arise near the base of current canes.

Next time you might get more response if you start a thread of your own.

This post was edited by fruitnut on Mon, Apr 1, 13 at 21:28

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 6:51PM
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Raw_Nature(5 OH)

Fruitnut you are always very helpful, I can't tell you how much I apreciate it! Let me ask you this - I ordered a seeded grapes - concord,Catawba, and niagra - how would you prune them? Did I make a mistake with ordering these? I jus bought them on a whim,cheap price..


    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 9:34PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


I'd cane prune those and expect excellent results. But it's pretty easy to change over if you don't like cane and want to try spur.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 11:30PM
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Raw_Nature(5 OH)

Can you recommend any links or books that can help further? What should I space these grapes? Do you train the grapes the same way for the first couple years no matter what prunin your doing? What should I do when I plant in, head back to a few buds or?


    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 12:24AM
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