Fruit and Nut Crops

Apple | Blackberry & Raspberry | Blueberry | Bunch Grape | Chestnuts | Citrus | Fig | Mulberry | Muscadine Grape | Olives | Peach & Nectarine | Pear | Pecans | Persimmon | Plum | Pomegranate | Strawberry


Bunch Grape

Bunch grapes were raised in Florida many years ago, but the industry was devastated by Pierce's disease. Pierce's disease is caused by the xylem limited bacterium, Xylella fastidiosa. Leafhoppers that feed on xylem fluid spread the disease from plant to plant. Only with the recent development of Pierce's disease-resistant varieties adapted to Florida's warm humid climate have bunch grapes been grown successfully in Florida.

Fertilizing

About ¼ pound of steamed bone meal (mixed with soil around the roots) should be applied at planting time.

The first year, soon after spring growth begins, apply ¼ pound of 6-6-6 or 8-8-8 with 20 to 30% of the nitrogen from natural organic sources, in two lateral bands 1 foot away from the plant. Repeat this application in May, June, and early September.

The second year apply 1 pound of the same mixture in February, May, and just after harvest. Rates can be increased in future years but should not exceed 4 pounds per vine per year. Split applications are more efficient than a single application.

Pruning

Pruning is done in Florida during the following dormant periods: (a) south Florida-January; (b) central Florida-January 1 to February 15; and (c) north Florida-January 1 to March 10.

Vines that fail to reach the top wire during the first year should be pruned back to buds near the ground. "Bleeding" of grape vines is not harmful. Vines that reach the top wire during the first year should be pruned to a single cane of 3 to 5 buds along each wire in each direction.

After the second year, leave 4 new wood canes (1 for each direction on each wire) with 8 to 12 buds on each cane. The older and more vigorous the vine, the greater the number of buds that can be left on each cane at pruning time. In addition to the 4 canes, leave short 2 or 3 bud spurs near the points of cane origin (near the trunk) for renewal of canes the following year.

Canes are pruned short (3 to 5 buds), and many more canes are left per vine if the "clothesline" trellis is used.

If vines are not pruned at all, the number of clusters will increase, but the size of both clusters and berries will decrease so that only stems and cull berries are produced. Further, the length and width of the vines will make them more difficult to harvest or cultivate.

UF/IFAS Publications

The Bunch Grape

Grape Pest Management

Weed Management in Grape   

 

County Fact Sheets & Articles

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