When are flame seedless grapes ripe?

silent88July 2, 2013

I feel like it might be a stupid question, but does anyone have any advice on how to tell when flame seedless grapes are ripe? I have tasted them and they seem to taste OK but not that sweet. I feel like I read somewhere that they turn red and are ripe 3 weeks after?

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I'd say your three weeks is in the right ballpark. So to me those have at least 3 weeks to go. Mine are a solid red right now. I'll try the taste test soon. I haven't grown them in several years so don't have a ripe date clearly in mind for my operation.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 7:52AM
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silent88

Dang. 3 weeks is a long time when I'm antsy to get them off the vine before the powdery mildew ruins them :P I had to re-bag them or the birds would have finished them off in a few days. Oh well. I know better for next year. Thank you!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 4:55PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Yours are ripe enough to eat whenever they suit you but they don't look fully ripe. It's the pits having to fight the birds and mildew!!!

This is how mine have looked for a week or two, fully colored. I tried some just now and they are fully sweetened up but not as crisp as I remember. I'll pick them over the next two weeks. They are vastly better than the slightly earlier Jupiter which I finished picking today. Gave both fruit and the potted plant to a friend who likes them a lot better than me. I think Jupiter nearly uneatable and apologize to anyone I recommended them to based on reputation.

This post was edited by fruitnut on Tue, Jul 2, 13 at 20:39

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 8:29PM
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silent88

Wow those look amazing! I'm really jealous- how do you keep the birds away? I removed the paper bags because I thought it was benefitting the mildew and the birds ate about 1/3 of the red grapes in 3 days!

Also I know in my last thread you mentioned spraying for mildew preventatively. Can I ask what particular spray you use?

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 10:10PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

silent:

I've never seen mildew here on grapes. Amazing but true. Also these are in my greenhouse so no critters. Outside I have grapes in a large shade cloth structure to fend off the birds. Nothing is easy outside anywhere.

UC Davis is your best resource on any fruit pest in CA.

Here is a link that might be useful: UC Davis grape powdery mildew

This post was edited by fruitnut on Tue, Jul 2, 13 at 23:22

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 11:14PM
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silent88

Ohh. A greenhouse would be nice!

Hmm maybe I'll ask in the organic section. The majority of my grapes are turning out fine so far, and maybe next time if I don't bag them until they are ripening they will be fine. The mildew seems like it will just wash off and the majority of grapes aren't severely affected (yet......). But it is rather gross-- a lot of it is on the stems. The actual grapes seem fairly spared.

I'm sure it gets really hot in Texas? I read mildew stops growing if it stays above 90 (or was it 85) for over 12 hours. Maybe that's why. I'm on the coast only about 1 mile from the ocean, it stays in prime mildew temperatures all day.

Netting and cloth is very difficult with the grape
Vines growing out of control.

Anyways I'm rambling on. Next year ill have a better plan! It's a lot to learn. :D this is the first real season this vine has produced much-- it's its third year.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 11:30PM
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MrClint

FN, your grapes look truly delicious. No doubt about that. Very nice clusters.

I hesitate to say this, as I do not want to discourage anyone from posting pictures here, but I see light-ish yellow spots on many of the leaves that look to be the beginning of some kind of mildew. Probably nothing to be concerned about, as my Crimson Seedless gets any number of leaf spots and such, and it doesn't detract from the quality of the fruit one bit. Ultimately, I'd rather live with some mildew than spray a chemical to eliminate it.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 11:41PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Silent:

Most of the spray materials listed by UC Davis from sulfur on down are biological and/or organic. In your climate I'd probably try a sprayable sulfur starting soon after bud break until just before harvest at ~10 day intervals.

Your climate near the coast is even worse than inland for mildew on grapes. The mildew can make the grapes totally uneatable.

Mr Clint:

If you're talking about spots on the leaves in my picture, I can assure you it's not mildew. I have had some leaf hoppers.

This post was edited by fruitnut on Wed, Jul 3, 13 at 9:21

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 9:16AM
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silent88

I probably will try the sulfur based fungicides. That's quite a bit of spraying though. I get fairly nervous spraying things I am going to eat with chemicals since I don't really have experience or certifications. Ill probably have to try it though. Thanks :)

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 7:05PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Silent:

Try to find some wettable sulfur. The growers use sulfur dust but you don't want that. You can probably get by with 4-5 sprays. Once the grapes start to turn color the sugar gets high enough to inhibit mildew on the fruit. That's also when the birds attack so don't bag until then.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 8:10PM
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