Marketing Table Grapes

Flavor and vine-ripened maturity are the marketing strengths of table grapes grown in temperate climates. Be politely assertive when developing a new market for table grapes. Acquaint consumers with the quality of unknown grape varieties by providing free samples. Point-of-sale literature is also helpful. Quality fruit resulting from good vineyard management is fundamental to all marketing success. Attractive packaging of an appropriate size is important. Avoid large container sizes. Even a...

Spring Vineyard Chores

When the snow cover is gone and the soil has thawed, it is time to begin spring vineyard activities. Trellis maintenance is the first task (Zabadal, 1997). Freeze thaw conditions over a period of years may gradually heave posts out of the soil, especially on heavy, wet soils. Whenever this is apparent, pound posts to their original depth. Replace decayed and broken posts. Repair breaks in wires and retension wires as needed. After the trellis has been repaired, tie grapevines to the trellis....

Acknowledgments

This publication results from more than a quarter century of experience with growing table grapes in the temperate climates of New York and Michigan. Many growers in New York and Michigan were involved in experiments, trials, demonstrations and commercial table grape production on their farms. Dr. Bruce Reisch, Dr. Jim Moore, Elmer Swenson and Dr. Helen Fisher provided table grape plant material to be planted at the Southwest Michigan Research and Extension Center SWMREC . Dr. Stan Howell, Dr....

Step Create Renewal Spurs

Renewal spurs create future quality canes in the renewal zone. They are selected after all the desired fruiting canes for this year's crop have been chosen and pruned. For training systems with a central renewal zone Fig. 3b and Fig. 13 , renewal spurs are generally selected below and more central to the vine than the fruiting canes. Some vines may have several high quality canes in a renewal zone but no poor quality canes below them that can be pruned to a renewal spur. In such instances,...

Table of Contents

Section I - The Structure of a Grapevine 4 Shoots, Laterals, Trunks, Arms and Cordons . . . . 4 and Fruiting Spurs 6 and Vine Space 6 Suckers and Trunk Renewals 7 Section II - Getting Started 9 a Vineyard Site 9 Selecting Grape Varieties to Plant 10 Planting and Care of Young Vines 11 For Managing Mature Grapevines 13 Table Grape Production 13 Modified Munson Training 13 Modified 4-Arm Kniffin 15 Hudson River Umbrella 15 Fan Training 16 Arbor Training 16 Pruning Vines for Table Grape Production...

Controlling Animal Depredation in Table Grapes

Stages Grape Growth

It can be very frustrating to bring a wonderful table grape crop through its stages of development and then lose it to critters at the moment of harvest. Birds and raccoons are often the culprits, but skunks or deer can also be a problem. Control measures for these problems range from slightly to totally effective and inexpensive to costly. Fig. 19 - A cluster in full bloom on the right and a cluster that has not begun to bloom on the left . Fig. 19 - A cluster in full bloom on the right and a...

Shoots Laterals Trunks Arms and Cordons

Renewal Pruning Examples

The structure of a grapevine is really quite simple. Trunks and arms are the rough-barked, semi-permanent woody parts of the vine. A trunk is easy to identify because it originates at or near the ground like the trunks on other woody plants Fig. 1a . There can be one, two or several trunks on a grapevine. When a trunk divides into branches, these branches are called arms. Arms are rough-barked portions of the vine other than the trunk s . Sometimes a trunk is bent so a horizontal arm runs along...

Appendix A Available Publications

These grape publications may be helpful to table grape growers. Sources of these publications are listed below. Bordelon, B.P. 1995. Grape Varieties for Indiana. Bull. HO-221. Lafayette, Ind. Purdue Univ. Source 6 Cahoon, G., M. Ellis, R. Williams and L. Lockshin. 1991. Grapes Production, Management and Marketing. Bull. 815. Columbus, Ohio Ohio State University. Source 2 IPM Grape Fact Sheets. Set of 14 on Eutypa Dieback, Powdery Mildew, Botrytis, Black Rot, Downy Mildew, Phomopsis Grape and...

Shoot Positioning

Vine canopy management is a key factor in producing quality table grapes in a temperate climate. It begins with the choice of a vine training system. Fan training is presented in this publication only because it is a reasonable option for those determined to grow grapes in a marginal vineyard site that is vulnerable to frequent winter injury to vines. All of the other vine training systems in this publication were chosen because they are compatible with the canopy management practice of shoot...

Gro Vida Gibberellic Acid Growing Table Grapes

Table grapes have become a very popular fruit in the United States. Annual per capita consumption of table grapes in the United States has quadrupled over the past quarter century. It now exceeds 7 pounds per person, and grapes rank fourth after bananas, apples and oranges. Improved storage technology and extensive winter importation now make table grapes available year round. Though the major U.S. table grape production regions are in warm climates such as the San Joaquin Valley of California,...

Selecting Grape Varieties to Plant

More bad table grape varieties are available for purchase than good ones. Don't rush this decision. Though numerous high quality seeded table grape varieties are available for temperate-climate vineyards, the commercial grower should be mindful that the American consumer now has a 90 preference for seedless table grapes. That's the future, even though a few growers in the eastern United States still fresh-market significant quantities of 'Concord' and 'Niagara'. Hardiness is an important...

Quality Table Grapes

Any grapes that pass the taste test are often considered acceptable fruit quality by backyard growers. Commercial growers must use a more complex consumer definition of acceptable fruit quality that involves not only taste but also appearance, including compactness of the cluster, berry color, berry size, and freedom from visible defects such as cracking, rot and spray residue. Numerous vine practices can influence these aspects of table grape quality Table 2 . Grape growers must decide how...

Brushing

Spray Bloom Table Grapes

Many desirable table grape varieties develop very compact clusters. In a temperate climate, tight clusters combined with a thin berry skin can eliminate the commercial potential of a variety. Rain at harvest can cause tight-clustered varieties to crack and rot very quickly. Therefore, a grower may be forced to pick such fruit before it has adequately ripened. Few options are available to reduce cluster compactness Table 2 . A gibberellic acid spray, the easiest of these options, is ineffective...

Storing Table Grapes

Most of the table grape varieties grown in a temperate climate store well in a typical farm cold storage for at least seven to 10 days. With a little effort, that time period may be lengthened. Desiccation and decay are the storage hazards of table grapes. Fumigation, the use of sulfur dioxide pads or other fungicidal techniques combat storage diseases of grapes in large commercial operations Zabadal et al., 1988 . Put only healthy, dry grapes into storage. Pick grapes for storage early in the...

The Complete Grape Growers Guide

Grape Varieties for Indiana. Bull. HO-221. Lafayette, Ind. Purdue University. Cahoon, G., M. Ellis, R. Williams and L. Lockshin. 1991. Grape Production Management and Marketing. Bull. 815. Columbus, Ohio Ohio State University. Eichenlaub, V.L., J.R. Harman, F.V. Nurnberger and H.J. Stolle. 1990. The Climatic Atlas of Michigan. Notre Dame, Ind. University of Notre Dame Press. Ellis, M.A. 1995. Integrated Pest Management IPM Disease Management Guidelines for Grapes in Ohio....

Shoot Topping

Shoot Topping Grapevine

Too many berries per cluster and excessive cluster compactness are common concerns of table grape growers. Occasionally, however, a grower may desire to increase berry set on straggly, loose clusters. Flower cluster thinning and berry thinning Table 2 are good strategies for increasing cluster compactness. Shoot topping is another method for increasing fruit set. When grapevines are going through bloom, the clusters and rapidly growing shoots are competing for the sugars and other substances...

Modified Arm Kniffiii Growers who do not

Four Arm Kniffin System Fence

Wish to construct trellis cross arms for the modified Munson training system can obtain many of the benefits of that system by utilizing a more simple two-dimensional training system called 4-arm Kniffin. William Kniffin developed this training system for grapevines in the Hudson Valley region of New York in the 1850s. He utilized four long fruiting canes for each vine. These canes were tied to two trellis wires at varying heights on the trellis Fig. 3a . In later years, as vines developed a...

Pruning Vines for Table Grape Production

Pruning is the removal of unwanted parts of a vine. A manageable growth form of a vine is the most visible result of pruning, but the most important reason for pruning is to control crop level. Unpruned vines will at first overbear to produce large crops of poor quality fruit. Vines left unpruned for several years develop alternating cycles of large and small crops. New grape growers often fear that pruning will injure a grapevine. The reverse is true. The more severely a vine is pruned, the...

Insect and Disease Control

Photos Table Grape Growing Stages

Most consumers have no tolerance for imperfections in table grapes, so the table grape grower must control grape insects and diseases. The first step is to recognize the principal insects affecting table grape production in a temperate climate grape berry moth, leafhoppers, rose chafer and Japanese beetle as well as the principal grape diseases powdery mildew, downy mildew, black rot, Phomopsis cane and leaf spot, and Botrytis bunch rot. Several excellent publications are available to assist...

Suckers and Trunk Renewals

Table Grape Trellis

The trunk of a grapevine may remain healthy for decades or become diseased or winter-injured after just one or two years. Therefore, the trunks of vines Fig. 2b - The cross-section of a node indicating a dead primary bud in the middle with live secondary and tertiary buds on either side. Fig. 2b - The cross-section of a node indicating a dead primary bud in the middle with live secondary and tertiary buds on either side. need to be managed for the specific conditions of a vineyard. Even under...

Harvesting Table Grapes

The balance between sugar and acid in a grape berry determines its palatability. Though the timing of commercial table grape harvests may be guided by measurements of sugar and acid levels in the fruit, often the start of harvest of table grapes will simply be a matter of deciding when the grapes taste good. Grapes do not ripen off the vine, so their quality can only go down after picking. Picking too early may jeopardize your market. Picking too late may cause a loss of early market...

Vineyard Fertilization

Most temperate-climate vineyards benefit from nitrogen and potassium potash fertilization. Commercial growers need a comprehensive vineyard fertilization program involving petiole analysis Hanson, 1996 , but growers of small vineyards will very often do well if they provide vines with maintenance levels of nitrogen and potassium fertilizers. Apply 30 or 60 pounds of actual nitrogen per acre see Table 1 for amounts per vine to young vines in their first and second years of growth, respectively....

Planting and Care of Young Vines

Hydroponically Grown Strawberries

Plant vines as early as possible in the spring. Keep vines cool and moist from the time you obtain them until planting. If the vineyard site has been adequately prepared Zabadal and Andresen, 1997 , then the steps in planting Zabadal, 1997 should proceed in rapid succession. The hobbyist grower with a small number of vines should take the time to plant each vine so the root system is well distributed in the soil volume. Do not merely shove roots down a hole made with a posthole digger. Dig a...

Crop Adjustment

Modified Munson Training

Pruning a dormant grapevine is the principal method for controlling the size of its crop. However, even when the same vine is pruned identically each year, its crop level will vary considerably from year to year. This variability occurs because the weather during both the previous and the current growing seasons greatly influences the number of shoots that develop per node, the number of clusters that develop on each shoot, the number of florets that develop on each cluster, the percentage of...

Girdling

Grapevine Girdling

The benefits of girdling grapevines were documented more than 250 years ago through a fortuitous accident. A donkey had been tied to the trunk of a grapevine. It was observed that this vine matured fruit earlier and of higher quality than fruit on surrounding vines. Inspection of the vine revealed that the donkey's rope had worn away the bark and a portion of the trunk just below the bark. Girdling has the same effect by cutting through the phloem tissues below the bark so that the downward...

Gibberellic Acid Sprays

Gibberellic acid GA is a naturally occurring compound in a group of plant hormones called gib-berellins. GA application to table grape clusters may produce several responses. When it is applied to clusters early in their development, it may lengthen the cluster stem rachis to reduce cluster compactness. However, this response to GA application is often negated by the natural elongation of the cluster in a later stage of cluster development. Therefore, there is seldom a true cluster-loosening...

Section III Cultural Practices for Managing Mature Grapevines

Growing Table Grapes Trellis

All cultural practices applied to grapevines are aimed at achieving the goals of acceptable yield and acceptable fruit quality. The intensity of a grower's vine management will reflect what he considers acceptable yield and fruit quality. Modest crops of imperfect fruit may be quite acceptable to a backyard grower, but such standards would put a commercial grower out of business. Several good vine management options for table grape production are presented below. Growers need to choose among...