When can I expect my grape vine produce fruits?

aaaaaaaa(6)June 3, 2010


I have now three year old grape vine. It is quite healthy. When can I expect it to produce fruits?

Any advice/suggestion. Thanks in advance.


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franktank232(z5 WI)

What variety? I guess mine fruited in its second year and has a bunch of flowers right now. This is a seedless Reliance.

I wonder if yours got hit by frost?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 10:30AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


A grape should bear the third year if the vine is good sized. My vines if grown with medium vigor would typically come into the third leaf with about a 3/4 to one inch trunk. The canopy in mid summer could be 6ft by 12ft. That is certainly big enough to leave fruit.

If I watered a lot, fertilized well, and controlled weeds; third leaf vines could be much bigger in this climate. But grape fruit quality is better on medium vigor vines.

Do yours have any clusters? How big is the vine?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 10:41AM
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I have Seedless Reliance too. It was 2 years old plant when I planted in 2009 early spring. Now I guess it can be said that it is three year old!! I see no cluster, and was exposed to very mild last freeze in early May. The big vine is about 6 to 7 feet tall and there are 6 smaller vines.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 12:51PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

Did you prune it? Grapes do not grow on last years wood. When it goes dormant, you need to prune it back and leave about 15 buds for new fruit. The new shoots in spring will produce flower clusters and canes. Every bud holds flower clusters, leaves, and shoots. Too many buds will cause poor fruiting. 15 buds is max to get nice clusters.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 1:30PM
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myk1(5 IL)

My Reliance and Himrod are producing fruit in their second year. They were rooted plants from a nursery, not bare root. I've never had a bare root survive more than 2 years.

You can say your vine is in its second year. There is no way you dug enough root for the plant to not have suffered some amount of shock.
If you prune it right and the weather cooperates you can expect fruit next year. Since it's that size you could've hoped for fruit this year.

How are you training it? Not that it matters that much, I guess Reliance earns its name and should be willing to fruit with any training method. That's not personal experience, I just know mine is loaded for the amount of clusters it has.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 1:38PM
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myk1(5 IL)

"15 buds is max to get nice clusters."

I don't think so. This study specific to Reliance has 60 buds per vine. Cluster weight was highest with 40 clusters per vine compared to 20 and 60.

16 buds would leave mine with canes about 1' or less. Naturally that would leave the fruit way too packed.


Here is a link that might be useful: http://ohioline.osu.edu/rc299/rc299_10.html

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 2:19PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

In my book your vine is only 2nd leaf. That is too young to bear much if any fruit. Grape fruit clusters form on the canes that grow from last years wood. I leave about 40 clusters (~60 lbs) on my mature vines that occupy an area of about 6ft by 16ft in mid summer.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 3:36PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

I stand corrected, myk1! I only know WINE grapes, and 15 buds is the standard, but us winos are pretty concerned about concentrated flavor and sugars in the grapes, so we thin for perfection!

Whole different ballgame for table grapes! I just wanted to make sure that Anna pruned hers, because whether they be wine or table, grapes are grapes, and they will not produce grapes on old wood.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 3:40PM
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myk1(5 IL)

That's why I wondered what variety and training method. I guess my Himrod won't produce trained to cordons. It must really hate old wood.

I was just researching to find out how many clusters to leave and came across the Reliance thing. Plus I was amazed at how close the buds are on the Reliance, 15 buds didn't seem very big when cane training even if I went with one tier.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 5:38PM
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No I did not prune it. Now what? I thought old vines will have new vines and they will produce fruits.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 12:24PM
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myk1(5 IL)

Yes you have to prune for best production. And it helps if you pick a training method.
This link is good.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://extension.missouri.edu/publications/DisplayPub.aspx?P=G6090

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 1:18PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

Take your self over to You Tube, Anna. Search it for "Pruning Grape Vines." This will open a world for you, and you will understand. I always think a picture is worth a thousand words!! I use two methods in my vineyard. One Head Pruned, stand alone, no trellis. And the other, Trellis spur pruned. Enjoy!

Here is a link that might be useful: Pruning link to get you started!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 10:51AM
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jollyrd(Richmond VA)

All of our grapes are for wine making; our third year Concord has large fruit clusters, the other varieties have smaller clusters.

Pruning is the one procedure we made sure to do last year.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 8:48PM
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oregonwoodsmoke(5 OR Sunset 1A)

My vines give fruit the third year after they are planted in my yard.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 9:09PM
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Can I prun the vines now(sornext year's fruit production)? Any how it is late for this season's fruit production. Or do I still have to just leave the leafy vines to grow?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 11:21AM
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    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 4:54PM
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myk1(5 IL)

Is that supposed to be "bump" and you're looking for an answer or "dump" because you found your answer?

You're probably beyond hope of getting grapes this year.

You could properly do some pruning but improper pruning will not help.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 1:50AM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

Anna, I'd let them grow this year, and when they go dormant, then prune. Those You Tube videos should help you do it properly.

However big your vine is this year, that's how big it's roots are. While it is green and growing, the roots are growing too! Everything stops in dormancy. When you prune it back, those big roots (which got bigger from all those green leaves feeding them this year) will push hard in the spring to give you some nice grapes!

You will see little bumps, like pimples, on the sticks where leaves and shoots used to be when the vines are dormant. Those are buds. If you cut your buds all off, then you won't get any clusters, because each bud has a cluster, leaves and/or shoots hidden in it. But you need to cut SOME buds off, so that the vine has energy to give you good grapes!

Go over to YOU Tube and search for grapevine pruning. It's important that you learn WHICH buds and canes to cut back.

Hope that makes sense!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 9:49AM
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Thanks Suzi.


    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 10:05AM
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myk1(5 IL)

Here is a grape business that has some good information on the whys of pruning.
They also have other good information.

I agree with Desertdance to let it go.
Unless it's succeeding in it's quest to take over the world, then I'd be willing to cut it back some. Or if it simply has no good wood for next year and come spring you'll be cutting everything back (I doubt it on a 3 year vine). But as far as trying to prune it now for next year, you'll probably do more harm than good.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bunch Grapes on pruning

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 11:07AM
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Hello all I am a newbie gardener about to purchase 3yr old fruiting vines. I live in zone 7b or 8a depending on who you ask :) I do not want to start with younger vines as I am also buying fruit trees this year and if I don't get something we can eat this year, my frugal husband is not going to support my gardening endeavors. While the difference in cost in young trees and larger fruiting ones can be large, the difference in cost in fruiting grape vines I found to be negliable. My questions are will new plants started from cutting of 1 yr old wood be fruiting or will I have to wait 2 more yrs to see fruit from my cuttings? How much fruit can I expect a healthy 3 yr old per vine? What pruning method do you all suggest for a vine purchased as a 3 yr old vine? Thank you.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 7:26PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


You can't gain much on grapes by planting an older/bigger vine. They grow so fast that initial size doesn't matter much. Fast growth is the key to early heavy bearing. I've gotten a small crop the second year, say 5 lbs. In the third year 20-30 lbs is easy with good growth.

I prune everything via canes. There may be a few that yield better with spur pruning. But my yields have been more than I've needed via cane pruning.

You'll likely need to wait 2-3 years from cuttings. You might gain one year by purchasing big vines. But it's really more about root size and extent than trunk size. No grape can be expected to fruit the year of purchase. Anyone that tells you that is misleading you. The roots need to be established at a minimum one year before leaving a crop.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 7:43PM
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Thank you Fruitnut,
I think I have gained some clarity based on your response and on a couple of sites I found after my post. As a newbie to grapes I had no idea what buying a "3 yr old" grapevine actually meant. I was surprised that one site was selling vines in bunches of around 25 with the best prices if ordering a quantity of 50 or more. I was thinking I don't want to start a vineyard; I just want to grow grapes in my garden probably no more than my family actually consumes. The website also had a picture of the grapevines they sell with this excerpt:

Grading Standards At our Vineyards
1 yr Extra - These are one year old vines that have made excellent growth the first year. Top growth is 12-18", and they have a heavy root system.

1 yr #1 - These vines are slightly smaller than 1-Extra vines, having 6-12" of top growth with a good root system to support the vine at planting. They represent the majority of the vines available.

If I had received these vines in the mail I would have been like what the heck?!#@ and would certainly had been disappointed at the waste of 15.95 per vine. (not that this website asks that much for theirs but that is what I was looking at paying for a 3 yr old vine). I had to take my understanding of buying fruit trees back to the drawing board as a vine is definitely not a tree and though these plants are minuscule they are at least still a plant with roots; a lot of vendors are just selling cuttings I would then need to root myself.
I then found a website that pictured more of what I wanted to know with this excerpt:
Here is an illustration of two own root, (i.e. ungrafted) vines pruned ready for shipment. On the left is a one-year old and on the right a mature vine. Both types should be allowed a year to re-establish the root system which is pruned for shipment. Note that mature vines loose most of their feeding roots during lifting so they are best planted in November with mycorrhizal fungi applied to the roots to stimulate feeding root regrowth.

In the spring, new growth should appear at several points on the head of the plant. Only those shoots required for the framework should be allowed to develop.

The image on the left looks like a grape I purchased growing in a 1 gallon container last year from Lowes. The image on the right shows the benefit of getting a mature vine and based on their text I now understand why it will still require a year to bear fruit because most of the feeding roots are lost. I also understand (now) that a 3 yr old vine is only truly a 3 yr old vine if it is in its permanent location with root system intact. I now have a million more questions and questions for the vendor I decide to purchase from. Does the image on the right look better because, as the website says, It is a 3 yr old grape on its own root stock/ungrafted and does that mean I need to make sure the 3yr old grape I purchase is ungrafted if I want it to resemble the picture? This website suggested that it is best to plant a mature vine in November; am I too late to plant in January here in the southwest where it is kind of warm? Is there something I can do to speed the recovery of the feeding root regrowth so that there is the possibility of a small crop this year? The picture on the right is a cane with 2 shoots cut back to 2-3 buds per shoot if I have the terminology right. If I receive a plant like the pictured image, will I get vines on my 2 shoots this year and does that mean I will get 2 vines or closer to 6(a vine developing from each of the buds)???? Don't laugh, each one of you were a newbie at one point too :). My question for you experienced grape growers is what pruning method produces the most grapes? I at first only wanted 2 3 yr old grape vines to grow supported by a small trellis fence in my backyard as I don't have much space. Those two I would cane prune. After finding out that a will get very little fruit, if any, this year I am considering growing more vines and more varieties but I have very little space. If I add more vines to my order it will be 1 yr old vines that I would grow in a raised square foot garden bed with a trellis or as a container garden with a trellis. I understand that limiting the root depth will limit my fruit production. It looks to me like spur pruning produces more fruit than cane pruning so I was thinking that my extra vines that aren't directly ground planted could be spur pruned to offset a bit of the fruit loss from shallow roots. Do you think for those extra vines my pruning method will make a difference?

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 4:36AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

For me all the vines pictured above are about equal. The bigger vine may fruit slightly more the first crop or two but not much.

And yield is proportional to the area that the canopy covers not to the number of vines. Each vine can occupy an area about 6x6ft up to 6x10ft. Putting more than one vine in an area 6x6ft will not increase the yield, you'll just need to leave less fruit per vine.

Even when cane pruning my vines I usually remove half the fruit that sets. Leaving too much fruit, especially on young vines, can injure the plant and will result in inferior fruit.

I've grown grapes in containers, have some now. Outside in the southwest it's not my first choice. The yield per vine will be low and watering much more work. Plus it will need repotting every few years, that's expensive and hard work. In the ground you are good for decades.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 9:45AM
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