Concord Grapes - Knowledgebase Question

Paramus, NJ
Avatar for VERN144
Question by VERN144
November 15, 1997
This summer our 10-year-old concord grape vines had what looked like some type of fungus covering the entire vine, and the fruit dropped before it ripened. We pruned the vines heavily this fall but are there other measures we should be taking?

Answer from NGA
November 15, 1997
Last summer was a frustrating one for many gardeners because of the cool wet weather. Those conditions are ideal for many diseases. Pruning helps combat disease by increasing the air circulation around your vines. (In general, late winter is the best time for severe pruning, because fall pruning can stimulate new growth at a time when the plant should be slowing down and hardening off in preparation for winter.) It would also be a good idea to rake up the fallen fruit and dead leaves as soon as possible to keep the disease organisms from overwintering in the soil. In the late winter before the weather warms up, replace the old mulch with new material. Keep a lookout for signs of the disease as the season progresses and dispose of any infected foliage. Hopefully, you will have some fruit again next summer.

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