grapes! help!!

debbiekim(6)March 22, 2013

hello, i'm still a beginner gardener and i'm trying something new this year - grapes! i saw them at home depot and i thought i'd give them a try.

i've been reading and reading and reading but i'm too scared to do anything! haha!

could someone give me some advice on which cane to cut back when planting? i've read that you should keep the straightest one for training, but in my plants, the straightest ones look dead! what to do??? help please!!

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here's the other plant.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 2:26PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Train the strongest shoot up a stake to your trellis. Pinch out the tip to make it branch as it nears the top wire. The other shoots can be taken out or left to grow on the ground or lower on the trellis.

Next spring if everything went well and you have a good straight trunk you can form the canes for fruit the following year. If things go poorly this year start over next year. Cut back to the lowest node and again train the strongest shoot up the trellis.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 3:11PM
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ahajmano(sunset 23, Mission Viejo CA)

Leave the other (dead) canes for now. Its early in the season. If they develop shoots, they will likely be stronger than the new sucker shoots. Like fruitnut said, leave them until it is clear which cane is the strongest, and remove the others at that point. Don't worry about leaving the other "dead" looking ones for now. Only remove them this season when it is clear they are not producing the "dominant" cane.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 5:04PM
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ahajmano(sunset 23, Mission Viejo CA)

PS: don't fret. Grapes are easy at this stage. Don't over think it. Get it in the ground soon though, so you can maximize this growing season.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 5:06PM
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thank you so much! i was hoping to get it in this weekend but it's suppose to snow on monday! should i go ahead and do it anyway?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 8:42PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Most plants this time of year should be planted outdoors. But grapes don't take freezing well, after they leaf out. You can plant them out but only if you protect from freezing. Even if they were to freeze back they would probably pull through. But to avoid giving you a heart attack, protect them from freezing.

Next spring they won't leaf out this early. Yours have gotten ahead of themselves either in the store or after you brought them home.

In general dormant fruit trees, vines, and shrubs should be planted outside while still dormant. Certain fruits are freeze sensitive, even the foliage, after they leaf out; grapes, figs, persimmon, and pecan foliage won't take much cold. The developing fruits are almost all freeze sensitive.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 8:53PM
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