My Hope (green seedless) is planted next to my Red Swenson (red with seeds). Last year I had a few small clusters of Red Swenson which were incredibly sweet. This year is their fourth or fifth year in the ground. I have one large trellis that both large vines are easily taking over. There are buckets of clusters this year that are now blooming (fuzzy stage with small flowers). Do I remove some of the clusters or do I leave them all alone . When is a good time to net? This will be my first year of having table grapes worth harvesting. Keeping the birds away?
I usually remove about half the clusters. But that’s no hard and fast rule. Just my attempt to maximize eating quality. Grapes need netting when they start to sweeten up. On colored grapes that’s about the time they start to color up.
Thanks Fruitnut! Will do. The clusters are already four to five inches long too.
Well, after thinning last year to basically one cluster per shoot and this year neglecting to thin at all, I feel that I can give qualified indisputable advice on this topic. And that advice is (drum roll please) - I am not sure.
The vines had large grapes last year has large grapes this year and the vines had small grapes last year has small grapes this year. However, I have noticed that the clusters seem have more shot grapes this year.
I am thinking that next year I will thin according to shoot health meaning that I will thin to two clusters on the healthier shoots while thinning to one cluster on the shorter shoots and weaker vines. Maybe nip off the ends of some of the clusters. Sort of coordinating thinning with the winter pruning. Fruitnut said it best - “that’s no hard and fast rule”.
My Jupiter’s have been ripening for about the last week and the Red Swenson’s have just now beginning to color up. The Reliance, Concord and supposedly N.Y. Muscat grapes are later. I generally just try to pick the grapes before the birds gets to them too bad. Maybe before they are fully ripe but are still eatable.
Let us know how your Hope grapes turn out.
From the little I know about grapes, some varieties need more thinning than others, and some like flame seedless needs girdling to get full size. I think fruitnuts advice is very solid for general grape thinning. I tried thinning about a third this year but will try 50% next year as my grapes are usually small but super sweet.
Last year too!! France will grow better grapes.
I lost almost half of my small orchard last year. My Reliance grape was one of them. I’m looking to replace it this year. Reading online about different grape varieties made me think maybe I should go with red variety called Flame. Does anybody grow it? Feedback? Any other variety you can recommend? I don’t think disease resistance should be a consideration since I don’t think can grow anything without spraying in our humidity. i Like seedless, crunchy, meaty, sweet grapes. But not really the juicy soft ones. And no Muscadines.
Sorry about your bad luck on your small orchard.
Well, I lost my Reliance and Jupiter grapevines last year due to Pierce’s disease. I have never grown the Flame grapevine. I Have read that the Flame vine is vigorous to a fault and its recommended to give it at least 10 feet between vines. Personally, if I was to get back into grapes I think I would try the newer Arkansas grapes (Joy, Gratitude, Hope and Faith).
That’s my 0.02 cents and it might not even be worth that.
I have Thompson, Flame and Zinfandel in Socal for many years. I bought the Zinfandel because it had so many grapes on the plant, before I knew that was for wine making! I don’t spray or prune, only snip off the leaves and bunches that seemed weird or diseased so they spread out on overhead trellis around the back yard. Thompson has the most and biggest fruits. Flame has very nice fruits, just smaller. They are both seedless, firm and sweet. Last year I added Candice so it is still small. I only had a few but my daughter liked them because the fruits looked so pretty, pink, round, seedless and sweet. They all need netting because the birds love them. I only can net the bunches growing downward and have mylar pinwheels high up all over the garden during summer. Sometimes the birds will come before the sun goes up or when there is no wind and eat the ones up high. In a good year, that still leave enough fruits for fresh eating and freezer jam.