Lon J. Rombough
lonrom at hevanet.com
Mon Sep 9 10:10:57 EDT 2002
Vanessa is a red seedless from Vineland, Ontario, Eona is a an old variety
from Nels Hansen of South Dakota, and St. Croix is a red wine grape bred by
Elmer Swenson in Wisconsin. Vanessa can be quite vigorous, though the
growth is not dense - lots of long canes, but not a lot of other growth
filling in between, so the vine stays fairly open. St. Croix can be very
vigorous on some soils, but prefers a sandy or silty loam. On other soils
it is more manageable. Eona is also quite vigorous, depending on soil.
Four such vines on an 8 x 8 arbor could be a bit cramped.
Train the St. Croix and Eona to two or three bud spurs on cordons.
Vanessa sometimes has to be trained to canes when young, but as the vine
matures at 5 to 7 years, it can be converted to cordons with 3 bud spurs.
From: Mauch1 at aol.com
Reply-To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
Date: Mon, 09 Sep 2002 09:58:53 -0400
To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [NAFEX] Grapes?
I do not currently have grapes, but until a few years ago, I
had an acre of grapes for about 14 years ago.
>The vines are just 3 years old and on an arbor. The cross members of the
>arbor are at 8'. In the northeast and southeast corners are St. Croix
>vines. At the southwest is a Vanessa, and a Eona in the northwest
I am not familiar with your varieties, but if they are
lambrusca related (i.e. slipskin). I'm concerned you don't
have enough spacing between your vines (You could probably
easily cover your arbor with two of those vines). If these are
weaker growing varieties you're probably ok. I should state
that I never grew grapes on an arbor but a trellis.
>1) I noticed the grape clusters on the southeast corner St Croix were
>fuller, better formed than those of the St. Croix on the northeast corner.
>Is this a matter of light, heat, pollinization or just variation between
If the difference is very slight it could just be a variation,
but more likely there were other factors. Other thoughts of
possible causes: a very light frost at bloom (i.e. that
hit one side more than another), soil differences, some sort
of disease, plus the list you noted above. It would be hard
to say what the cause was.
>2) This is only the 3rd year for the vines and the grapes bunches
>primarily formed on the shoots off of the upright portion of the vines.
>There was little to no grapes on the top of the arbor. Is this just a
>matter of vine maturity, and will I get bunches on the horizontal part of
>the arbor next year (years to come)? Is 8' too high for horizontals?
First, 8' high is fine (actually for air flow, etc. the higher
the better, it just makes harvest and working with the vines
more difficult. Did you have horizontals laid at the top of
the trellis at the beginning of the spring? If so you probably
should have gotten grapes there. Could you have lost clusters
to frost at bloom?
>3) Should I be opening up the vines (leaf pruning) to allow more sunlight
>on bunches on the north side of the arbor. It is pretty much full shade
>from all the vines that developed across the top of the arbor this year.
>I thought I heard on the radio that vineyards prune for more sun on the
>ripening grapes prior to harvest.
Leaf thinning is not a bad idea. Ideally, your grapes should be seperated
from each other, and spread out enough that leaf
thinning shouldn't be necessary (Not always easy to get to
>4) Once harvested, when should grapes vines be pruned for the next season
>(fall, early winter, late winter, spring)?
late winter is usually the best if you think you need to
look for damage to vines. Generally if the cambium is green
when you prune you're ok. There are some varieties where the
buds are more cold sensitive than the vines themselves,
and you can have bud kill with still having living cambium.
>5) I got about 11-12 lbs of grapes from 3 vines, 3 years old. Will this
>increase with time?
You should get much, much more (I'm guessing these are not
>With all the growth on the top of the arbor, it will be quite a job to
>figure out what shoots are staying and what will be pruned
It's not always easy.
SE PA, zone 6
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