Muscadines 2022

Most recommendations that I have seen for my locations suggest that late February is a good time to prune your muscadine vines. Sometimes I wait and at other times I prune earlier. As of now I haven’t had any vines die either way. Another thing I have noticed is that there is less or no water drip from pruning in January vs late February. The drip appears to not cause any health issues for the vine. I did a quick post and wire setup for 2021 with the intention to correct the issues this winter. Removing the excess vines made the job easier. The trellis has now been corrected and I’m looking forward to having more muscadine fruit this year.

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I freaked out the first time I pruned mine and saw the excessive weeping LOL
I just ignore it, like you say. I will probably prune in late Feb - will have to look at my notes.
I’m curious to see how much Ison fruit I get because it seemed to have a heavy crop last year.
My Late Fry is still a couple years from fruiting sadly.

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I’ve had slightly better results pruning between February 1st and 15th.

One way to stop bleeding is to burn the end with a propane torch.

In bygone years, women would collect muscadine sap by deliberately cutting a large vine in early spring and use it as hair conditioner. I was paid to collect some for a woman who lived nearby back about 1967. There were hundreds of wild vines in the woods so I cut one in April and stuck a 5 gallon bucket under the stub. It was nearly full the next morning.

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I no longer have muscadines, but I used to prune them the same way I do my bunch grapes, just AFTER bud break has begun. This usually is in early to mid April for me. The buds at the tips of the shoots will break first, and gradually work down the shoot toward the buds at the base of the shoots. This delays the bud break on the buds you want to keep by at least one to two weeks, so they don’t get frozen by late frosts. This happens about every other year for me, so pruning this way, the shoots that get frozen are the ones I will prune off anyway.

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There’s not much going on with the muscadines right now. All my pruning is finished and I’m waiting on the leave to emerge later. One of the reasons muscadines are a mostly reliable crop is that they are adapted to our area and they leaf out and bloom late enough to avoid the cold days. My first blooms normally occur about May 25th. Wishful thinking but I would like my plums to adopt the later bloom period.

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Is this a good place to ask about recommended varieties for starting out? If not I’ll start a new thread.

I just don’t want to get 6 or 8 vines and regret my choices later. I have a 200ft row ready to plant (assuming now is a good time) and room for much more. Just need to put up a trellis.

We particularly like the small black/purple ones which grow wild around here. One of my favorite childhood memories was a bass fishing trip with my dad on the river. I got my crank bait hung up in a muscadine vine. When we got close we saw it was loaded down. We both shook it all we could and filled up the bottom of the boat 4-6” deep. I remember eating them until I was sick. Grandma was happy to have them and made jelly.

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Always worth asking. Sometimes worth answering.

Ison - because it is a self fertile with good production and good flavor
Paulk - new self fertile not yet proven, but so far looks excellent
Summit - best of the older varieties.
Supreme - best of the female varieties
Nesbitt - another old but excellent muscadine
RubyCrisp - if you want to try out one of the new red varieties
Pam - very large, not as productive as others, but unique and worth growing
Big Red - slower growing than others, but absolutely worth the wait

https://muscadines.caes.uga.edu/cultivars/fresh-market-cultivars.html

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Ask all the questions you want to at this location. I grow my varieties for fresh eating and an occasional cobbler so this is where I have more experience. These are some of the varieties I have and really like.

-Hall a self fertile heavy producing light skin fruit has become the favorite of my family and friends. I have had this one for a few years.

-Supreme a female heavy producer with very large fruit and a high sugar content.

-Paulk, a new release self fertile heavy producer. It is almost as large as Supreme but has a higher dry scare increasing it’s shelf life. I added two of these this year.

-Ruby Crisp is a variety I want to add but I don’t have space for it.

-Black Beauty, a female variety that I have only because we really like the taste. It is an aggressive grower and was slow to fruit. I would only suggest this one for a novelty.

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Sounds like a good way to get a crop even when the weather doesn’t cooperate. Great observation to details.

@kiwinut and others… a few years back I had some land for sale and was approached by a winery owner… that grows lots of his own grapes and other fruit… but lots of wine grapes.

He told me the same thing on timing pruning of his wine grapes… he always waits until those first tip growths start up… a couple inches of new green growth… then he prunes.

He said this will often shock them a bit and delay additional budding for a week or two… which can help with a late frost.

I have been doing my grape vine and wild trellisesd muscadine like that since 2016.

They do weep… but see no ill effects of that.

PS… that is also ideal time to take your children out to the grape vine and teach them how to prune grapes… and cover John 15 with them. I have done that with my kids for many many years now.

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If I’m unable to get my permanent trellis constructed before this Spring, should I wait until next year, or are there other options?

The other options being I have an espalier trellis in a large raised bed installed with wires at 2, 3.5, 5, 6.5 feet. The apple whips will be planted soon, bent horizontally, and tied to the lowest wire. I could order the bareroot muscadines, pot them up, and train them up and along the apple trellis temporarily, then move them to the orchard in the Fall or Winter. This area is drip irrigated as well.

I could also plant them in the orchard and train them up a tall stake.

Would something like that work, or should I just hold off? Thanks

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Either method would work. I have planted a few with tall stakes with the intention of adding the trellis before they start to run down the wire.

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Not a big selection left at Isons’s. Thinking about 1 each: Hall, Ison, Noble, Paulk, Summit. Add more Female varieties next year. Thoughts?

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So some cold mornings are coming (25 degrees or so) over the next week and my muscadines appear to be starting to push buds. Some are getting close to 1/4 inch, so definitely not dormant. What temps will kill the buds and also are there risks of the bark splitting and/or damage to the arms at these temps?

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If frost forms on the buds, they are toast. Frost will form at roughly 29 degrees if humidity is high. Buds are most vulnerable after they have expanded more than 1/4 inch.

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Just got back from the burgundy region in France and they indeed delay pruning to protect from frosts as you mentioned

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Hall putting on a heavy load of buds for fruit. Year after year it produces a good load of tasty fruit.
20220415_102523

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I have seen posts referring to over fertilizing fruiting age vines early in the season causing fruit to drop. My experience on this topic is limited but I’m certain that some of you have had good and bad experiences with this topic. As of now I have stayed with one application of either 10 10 10 or 13 13 13 about this time of the year and then applied Calcium Nitrate after the fruit has set (BB to pea size). I think this is a timely topic and many of us could benefit from the others who have more experience. My opinion is that there is no wrong procedure but an opportunity to learn and do better going forward. Thanks for your interest and adding your comments. Bill

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Just after fruit has been harvested is the most important time. I put about 2 pounds of 13-13-13 per plant usually in early October. Spring fertilizing is a bit heavier with about 3 or 4 pounds per plant applied in early April.

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Thanks