The Q&A Archives: grape disease

Question: I drastically pruned my grape vine now because of what I believe was a bad disease. Last year the hurricanes blew most of the fruit and leaves off but the plant did not brake and looked o.k. This year we had a record amount of rain and then a record high in tempature. At first I thought I had mites on the leaves and then grape powdery mildew on the fruit, so I sprayed with bio-neem (I use organic pesticide) in the evening. The disease just seem to get worse. The fruit puckered and some I tasted that seemed ripe but ugly were very bitter. My question is should I give my plants another attempt or do they have some disease that I should just eracticate them and start over with more disease restaint ones? I would hate to distroy them if I could have done somthing. Thanks, Kibby Comella

Answer: There are numerous fungal diseases, as well as at least one bacterial disease, called Pierce's Disease. Although there are controls for the fungal diseases, the only way to manage Pierce's Disease is by planting resistant varieties.

It is impossible for me to know what disease affected your vines. If the plant produced well in previous years, you might chalk up the troubles to the season's hot and humid weather, as well as the fact that the hurricane so damaged the plants that the damaged tissue invited invasion by disease organisms.

You might try planting a second, disease-resistant variety as well as keeping your old vine for another year, just to hedge your bets. The web site below lists some disease-resistant varieties:

Good luck!

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