How long does a grape shoot have to be to support fruit?

My grapevines are taking off. However, many of the shoots’ tips are snapping off after about a foot of growth, when they hit the canopy above them. Many of these have good looking bunches of grapes starting. Are these going to be unable to ripen fruit? If so, it’s a good excuse to prune them out and clear some room.

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Can I expect the snapped shoots to continue growing?

The issue IMO isn’t the short shoots it’s the shade of the canopy. Grapes need sun to make good fruit. Get rid of the shade and the shoots will grow and make sweet fruit. In the shade you can’t expect good fruit.


In my experience, grapes pretty much know what they are doing when growing for the season so no interference is usually necessary. The new growth typically hardens off fairly quickly and can support the fruit. However, if there is some sort of interference or lack of care, than that could be a problem. Without seeing a photo of your entire vine, I can only guess. If the leaves and tips are browning before falling off it could be lack of water, frost, or being scorched by the canopy if touching it.

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I have to keep the canopy. It’s common practice here due to heavy rainfall. I took the picture at night, so it looks like it’s dark. It’s clear polycarbonate panels. I’ve grown successful harvests under it before.
Some shoot tips are snapping off from physically bumping into the canopy after about a foot of rapid growth. Normally the shoots grow much longer. Just wondering if I should trim out those snapped shoots, if they’re a lost cause.

You don’t need to prune them out. They’ll likely sprout new shoots from lower buds. The fruit should mature normally.

So your setup is sort of like a greenhouse with roll up sides. That’s neat.

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Here’s a shot from a couple of weeks ago:

How hot does the canopy get? The tender shoots may be getting scorched.