When to bag grapes?

silent88April 5, 2013

Sooo I am gonna try putting paper bags around my grapes cuz last year the birds ate them all! When do I put them on?

Basically, can I put them on now? Or do they need to pollinate first?


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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

This is way too early. They do need to pollinate and might in the bag. But then they might not as well. Plus you will just damage the new shoots or the bunch trying to put them on now.

The birds don't bother them until the fruit begins to color and sweeten up. That's at least two months off.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 7:07PM
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Thanks! I just heard that you should bag "as soon as the cluster forms" which seemed vague! They said to do that in order to prevent fungus from getting on it or something. They do seem too delicate at the moment so ill wait.

Do you have any experience in bagging grapes, by the way?

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 7:20PM
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I have. The birds do not bother them at all, even when partially colored, and do not go through the bags. But the raccoons and the deer will rip right through the bags.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 7:58PM
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The birds are the biggest pest for now!

Any tips on how to do it? :) You just put a paper bag on it? or do you cut holes? =)

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 8:08PM
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I'd love to know what to do about this also. We get a problem with wasps and insects devouring and ruining the grapes rather than the birds, although I'm certain they have a hand - or beak - in it too! I'm trying to find info online, but there isn't much, apart from some really old fashioned piece I found! Can anyone help??

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 7:24AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I use organza bags, they are mesh bags which let air circulate. Some people use paper bags. I tried ziplocs and in my humid climate the grapes rotted. I would say as soon as the cluster forms is far too early, if the problem is birds put them on when the grapes start to sweeten up and change color.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 8:30AM
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yukkuri_kame(Sunset 19 / USDA 9)

Hanging old CD's here and there greatly reduced the pressure from birds around our grapes.

It's the 'coons and 'possums that did the damage last year.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 8:19PM
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Scott, will the organza bags keep wasps away as well as birds? What size bags do you buy? Thanks for all the great info!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 4:20PM
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I use green drawstring organza bags that are about 12" by 8" over each cluster. I think the green color also hides the fruit while the mesh keeps all the bugs/ birds away.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 9:41PM
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What a great idea. Papermart has green organza bags. Is there a better source or more opaque organza? These looks extremely sheer.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 11:43PM
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The past few years I had issues with wasps. Now I put out wasp traps as the fruit ripens and at least reduce the damage done.

I did try bagging a few Reliance grape clusters with kraft
paper lunch bags last year. The bags were far too big but I had them available. I stapled them as tight as I could around the cluster and they did fine! I did this just when they started to turn color.

No wasp damage and not bird damage. It was a lot of work though. The grapes colored and flavored just fine
in the paper bag. Tasted and looked the same as the
clusters I did not bag.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 12:09PM
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