Grapes Too Small - Knowledgebase Question

Yorba Linda, CA
Question by Archhov
November 9, 1997
I have 2 Red Flame grape vines that I planted about 4 or 5 years ago. They produced lots of fruit this year but many had a mildew-like film and seemed stunted, ie, smaller than what I thought should be normal. Is there something that I can spray on these to cure the problem and still leave the fruit edible? I live in Southern California in Zone 23 of the Sunset Western Garden book.


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Answer from NGA
November 9, 1997

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First of all, I wonder if the "mildew-like film" on the fruit was the natural "bloom" that grapes get. If the foliage wasn't affected (look for a gray/white, powdery coating on the leaves), then mildew probably isn't a problem.

There are a few reasons to explain why your grapes were small. Have you been pruning the vines each year? Vines can only support a certain size crop; beyond that fruit size may be smaller. Also, they need plenty of water throughout the summer. And finally, they need to be fertilized regularly.

You might want to contact your local Cooperative Extension office to inquire about publications on growing grapes in your region. Their number is 213/744-4854.

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