I thought that I would go ahead and start off the Muscadine 2024 post because many of you will be planting vines during the dormant period and you might want to consider how many vines you want to plant and what will be your end use for the fruit. Below is some of my experience.
What to do when you over plant muscadines. When I moved to this location I had a little more space and I put in more vines than I needed. This is the third year and these vines produced almost 500 pounds and if they continue as expected this number will go upward substantially in a few years. I don’t sell my fruit so when I have any extra I like to share with my friends and neighbors. I do really enjoy how easy the vines are to grow and produce reliable heavy crops each year. The one part I don’t like is the picking. I did all the picking and was able to distribute them all without wasting very many. My grand’s thought it was funny when I told them that my mail carrier said she liked muscadines. I told her I would pick some for her and give them to her tomorrow. At this point I was just trying to get them picked and out to someone who would appreciate them. She was shocked when I helped her load four gallons the following day. I’m currently considering how to reduce my work picking so many fruits. The easy option would be to eliminate some (most) of the plants. I have also considered going the u-pick route but I just don’t want to deal with the liability of doing so. Another option I’m considering is letting nearby muscadine growers come by and pick what they want. I don’t make wine and only a few jars of jelly but many people do.
@Auburn … I plan to stop at 2 vines…
1 Oh My
I figure year 1… will be about getting them up and down the trellis lines… establishing growth… no fruiting allowed…
Is it ok to let them fruit in year 2… if they fill your trellis in year 1 ?
I remember with my concord grapes… i did not let them fruit until year 3. But muscadines may be more agressive growers than grapes.
How much fruit should I expect to average harvest (once established well) from those two varieties ?
Not the most experiences muscadine / grape grower but I’ll chime in.
There are numerous references out there that talk about the thickness of the canes and allowing fruit. Even if you have a fully trained form, if the cane’s are thinner than a pencil they suggest pruning off and refinishing the cordons the next year.
Fruiting second year versus removing them is about how you want the vines to spend their resources, which I believe is obvious. For trees and vines I compromise and let a few fruit /bunches ripen and remove the rest. I get to try it out while still letting the plant establish a better root system for the next year
I can’t help but envy those who have the climate to grow Muscadines! I grew up in west Tn where they just naturally grew in the Forrest’s on our farm. So when I moved here I decided it’s was worth trying them. I thought maybe the growing season was not warm enough but I got excellent growth, yet they never flowered. My vines are still healthy and maybe someday with enough age they could produce, but after some seven years of suspense I have given up on watching them grow. I may try moving them to a sunnier space where they get all day sun, but for now I will just have to dream about fruit while experimenting!
So many people would love to have your Muscadines! Your excess is someone else’s treasure. Chances are someone near you has something you want as well, so suggest you simply put the word out! I know if I were near you, I would be first to volunteer share picking! Nothing better than muscadine jelly and wine!
Your post got me thinking to relocate my vines which are poorly located behind a huge cedar tree that blocks out at least 4-5 hours of sun. I recently cleared out a large space by cutting and chipping two high cedars on my street frontage so now there are several locations where I can give them near full day sun. That will be my project this week to create new planting holes for transplanting. If nothing else they will be a nice landscape element that gives me some privacy that removing those trees took away. Maybe with a full days sunlight I can actually see them blossom?
I still have a bunch of super ripe Paulk on the vine. Made a lot of cider over the last month.
You haven’t explored the full culinary delights of Muscadines until you have had Muscadine Ripple Ice Cream at Mississippi State University.
Bah humbug Dennis!!! Just plant Concords. I do love Scuppernong jelly though.
Say what you will, a concord will never take the place of a fresh ripe juicy sweet muscadine!
The first year. You might have a few buds emerge low down but I remove these.
The second year. You will probably get faster growth by removing the buds but I usually leave a few for samples.
The third year. Production amounts are different for each vine but I think it is reasonable to expect 40-50 pounds per vine. They will continue to increase production in the following years.
Oh My was a little slower getting to the higher production but they appear to be as productive and vigorous as any of my other varieties once established.
I would think it would be delicious.
In all seriousness you should be getting muscadines. You probably already know this, but you need a self-fertile or a female being pollinated with a self-fertile (or male but that would be unusual). What cultivars do you have?
A cousin of mine planted a muscadine vine at an old dairy barn site. Apparently, it was a male since it never produced the first muscadine. He just smiles about now. Never been serious about that sort of thing, too busy farming.
Where was your family’s farm in Fayette County?
I planted Sugargate and Isons Native in 2014, then Cowart a year later. They all grow well, just never set blossoms. Cowart is supposed to be SF. At that time I had no full day sunny space to grow them, now I do so I will transplant this week.
What varieties do you grow?
Yes, our farm was near Somerville
My mature vines are Cowart and Scuppernong. I added a Carlos vine last spring. More geared to jelly/jam than fresh. Like to ferment some wine but haven’t yet. More for cakes and maybe pies than anything else. I think muscadine wine is underrated especially the white. Juice is good also.
There’s a muscadine winery near Somerville named de Terra that has a nice selection in case you want to find a local winery. I’ve tasted their product and would buy it if I were close. Where are you located Sam?
Yes, I am aware that there is a vineyard/winery out near Stanton but in Fayette county. The county extension office told me about it some years ago. Always intended to visit but have not yet. Makes sense that they would be in muscadines since Pierce’s Disease is so prevalent here. Sharpshooters moved in and the bunchgrape production went south (or north or west, however your semantics is )
That is generally true but there are exceptions. Have you ever tasted of a scuppernong muscadine? Nephew tasted one of mine recently and immediately spit it out! Even a sweetened one is - well let’s just say that one has to acquire a taste. I’m sure there are other muscadines similar.
I agree that a fresh Concord grape will never win a taste reward. However, there is a reason why Concord juice is sold in the grocery stores. Recently I purchased a bottle of Concord red wine. Wasn’t as tasty as Sparkling Rose but not as rough as Sweet Red. Prefer white.
Have you ever tried to can pears in Sweet Red?
I grew up eating Scuppernongs. I often carried them to school for a snack. We had 4 vines behind the house. About 1973, we got some new varieties of which I remember 2 were Higgins and Bountiful. My memories of Scuppernong are of a very sweet and musky grape with excellent flavor.
Your memories are the same as what I remember. Very good tasting for that time period.