The Q&A Archives: Grapes

Question: For the last five years I have growing grape vines. The problem is my grapes don't get very big. My plants get around five to six hours of sun. Is that enough?

Answer: Grape vines produce fruit on new fruiting canes that grow from last year's wood. If you're getting grapes, then you're probably pruning correctly. Vines often develop more grape clusters than they can support. If all of the clusters are left on the vines, the resulting grapes will be small and not very sweet. You can remedy this by removing about half of the grape clusters on your vines as they develop in the spring. When the remaining grapes mature, they'll be larger and more flavorful, because the vines can concentrate their energy on ripening fewer clusters. Grapes need full sunshine, all day. The five to six hours of sun your vines are getting isn't quite enough for your plants to develop and ripen fruit. Try thinning the fruit clusters so you'll get some flavorful fruit, but don't expect your vines to produce huge quantities of sweet ripe grapes with the limited sunshine they receive.

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