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July 2006

QuestionA couple of years ago, I was gifted with two Thompson Seedless Grapes vines. They grow beautifully each year and put on a few grapes, but not as many as I'd like. I suspect that I'm not trimming them properly, but I'm unsure of the correct way and time of year. I'm also unsure of how much water they need. I would appreciate any advice you could give me concerning their care.


AnswerWhen we buy fruit crops for our home gardens, we often look at varieties that we are familiar with from the grocery store. Thus we see a lot of Thompson Seedless grapes, Bartlett Pears and Red Delicious apples in home gardens. These aren't always the best varieties for our climate. However, you have them now, so let’s try to make the most of your planting. Table grapes need to be pruned hard every year in February. We normally count buds on the vines, leaving a minimum of ten buds for young vines and a maximum of sixty buds for older more vigorous vines. Each bud can produce at least a cluster of grapes. If you don't prune enough, table grapes tend to ripen one grape at a time in the cluster, instead of the whole cluster ripening. Water when dry throughout the growing season and monitor for insects and diseases and spray accordingly.

March 2014

QuestionMy father, who lives in Kansas City, Missouri, has three Concord grape plants he wants me to have (passed on from his father).  When should I attempt to move these plants to Arkansas?  I live on Lake Windsor in Bella Vista. How close to the lake can I plant without worrying about the occasional flooding harming the roots? Also preparing our rocky soil has me worried.  I know lime applications are called for but are that just when first transplanting?  Thank you for any help I'm definitely out of my comfort zone with grapes.


AnswerIf your soil is extremely rocky, consider building a raised bed to plant them in along with a trellis for them to grow on.  This will also alleviate any flooding problems.  Have your soil tested before adding lime. Lime is only needed if your soil is too acidic. Liming without knowing the amounts needed, can cause damage.  Make sure that where you plant the grapes, they get a minimum of six hours of sunlight.  I would move the plants soon, before they begin active growth. Now is the time to prune grape vines, so prune and move at the same time.  They do need annual pruning as well.  



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