Q: I have two ‘Concord’ grape vines growing along the lattice around our patio. When do I cut them back and how much do I remove? The vines are two years old and I had plenty of grapes this year.
A: Bunch grapes need to be pruned severely each year to avoid disease build-up on the plant. Properly done, you should remove nearly ninety percent of the vine each February. This is easy to do when the grape is growing on a wire arbor but very difficult on lattice. Your best bet is to simply shorten as many canes as you can reach to make an attractive vining cover for the lattice. Grapes will be produced on the new growth next spring.
The ‘Concord’ you’ve planted is not really the best variety for Georgia. ‘Fredonia’ is much better; the fruit ripens more evenly. The nearby list gives good bunch grape varieties for the northern half of Georgia.
American bunch grapes are characterized by their hardiness and pest resistance and are generally well-adapted to Southeast growing conditions. American-French hybrid grapes have good disease resistance but don’t have the sharp “foxy” taste of American grapes. European grapes are difficult to grow in the Southeast and are generally not recommended.
Fruit color, Variety, Comments
Blue ‘Buffalo’ Ripens early, good quality for juice and desserts
‘Fredonia’ Ripens mid- to late-season, good for juice & pies
‘Concord’ Ripens mid-season but unevenly
‘Sunbelt’ ripens more evenly than Concord
White ‘Niagara’ golden fruit
‘Villard Blanc’ green-yellow fruit
‘Aurora’ good for wine & fresh eating
Red ‘Delaware’ small but sweet, makes good red wine
‘Alden’ large berries, vigorous vine
‘Catawba’ purple-red, uneven ripening
‘Steuben’ good for jelly, fresh eating
Blue Seedless ‘Mars’ good for fresh eating
‘Glenora’ mid-season ripening; long, loose fruit cluster
White Seedless ‘Marquis’ excellent winter hardiness
Red Seedless ‘Reliance’ good for fresh eating