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Section 25: Possible Strategies for Overproducing Cultivars

Some cultivars of muscadines such as ‘Delight’, ‘Granny Val’, ‘Janebell’, and ‘Pineapple’ often set more fruit than they can properly mature. No research has been conducted on this problem, but growers may wish to experiment with several possible techniques to reduce the problem. Heavier pruning, by cutting off all the current season’s growth except for one bud per spur, should result in better leaf to fruit ratios. Increased spur thinning, by thinning the spur clusters to 14-15 inches apart on the cordons of old mature vines should have a similar effect. Growers may also wish to experiment with clipping off some of the fruit clusters after fruit set to improve the leaf to fruit ratio. Leave no more than two fruit clusters per fruiting cane. Additional fertilizer may also be beneficial in cases where additional leaf growth is needed, but try this on an experimental basis.

Photo 25.1: Cultivar with poor leaf to fruit ratio. The sugar content of the grapes will be low.

Section 26: Cold Protection and Recovery Strategies