Somerset Grape - cluster thinning?

Do I need to thin clusters on Somerset grape? The clusters are pretty small on that grape and berries in the clusters are tiny as well. Do I still need to go with 1-2 clusters per shoot rule? If I need to thin, what would this accomplish - bigger berries or sweeter grapes?

Hi There:

Funny, I thought Somerset and Troll were only for people like me residing near the North Pole… I could be mistaken but with your hardiness zone you could have bigger and tastier grapes?

Anyway I have been growing both Somerset & Troll for 6 years and never thin. I let Nature dictates everything and I end up with quite a lot of grapes. I doubt very much that any tricks can make them bigger & tastier… but that’s just my very humble opinion…



Your nets look great, when do you normally put them up to protect against pests?


Usually I put the nets when the grapes are still green but have began (or begun?) to enlarge. I don’t have a schedule, just knowledge & experience.

This is about 5% of last year harvest. My neighbours, extended family members and clients love me!



What kind of netting material do you use? Any brand in particular?

Your set up is very neat and beautiful.

Yes, I agree, great work Marc. Neat and orderly

I am in zone 5B, and if I don’t want to worry about overwintering it I have to go with cold hardy grapes. I started with reliance, but it was too vigorous for my tiny yard, somebody recommended Somerset and it worked pretty well - much more manageable. By the way, do you have any later spring/summer pictures without netting? I wanna see how you shape it.

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Hi Mamuang and others:

I buy most of my agriculture stuff from Dubois agrinovation ( They have a bilingual web site. Far from being certain but they could ship to US… Look for netting or bird/insect netting: they offer a lot of different choices.This is what I ordered:

|FIIN5,5X100-55|18’ x 328’
5,5 m x 100 m|0,19’’ x 0,12’’
5 mm x 3 mm|0,18 oz / ft2
55gr / m2|knitted|

I even use it for blocking medium/large insects from entering the greenhouse.

I understand that a roll of 100 m is a lot but if someone from the US is visiting my region it would be my pleasure to sell him/her a couple of yards only

There is a million ways to plant grape vines. I chose this method:

Last but not least: just for you Mamuang:

Wasting time on YouTube I found this video: search: Australian guy who speaks perfect Thai. Quite out of the ordinary especially for you. Bye from now!



Thinning can increase the size of the remaining clusters and/or berries but usually wouldn’t increase the sweetness. The exception would be if there were so many clusters that they all couldn’t ripen properly–animals will basically eat anything that softens or turns color and the vine only cares about seed dispersal.

If you pay attention in pruning you don’t often need to drop clusters. Young vines (say 2-4 years old) will try to over-crop themselves so they can benefit from some thinning. And by pay attention you could record pruning weights, or you could simply judge by the thickness of the dormant wood (thinner than a pencil you left too many buds last year, thicker then the opposite). Thinning shoots can also have a big impact on vine growth but is fairly time sensitive.

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Thank you. I love football. Americans call it soccer but it is the real football to the rest of the world.

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