How can I optimize harvest of native muscadine grapes?

Asked January 28, 2014, 12:49 PM EST

I have 3 or 4 muscadine grapevines on a fence around my garden of which one produces annually. In an attempt to take advantage of this natural resource I'm seeking guidance on how to optimize harvest. I've read some information on the internet but I'm still left with many questions that I hope y'all can please help me answer. I've enclosed a few photos if my vines for reference.

First off, should I dig up the non producing vines or is there a way to make these produce? Secondly, how should I start out getting the producing vine under control while still enjoying some productivity? Thirdly, what is the best way to prepare and plant cuttings from successful vines? Lastly, what's the optimal method of transplanting mature vines to other locations? Your assistance is greatly appreciated and I will offer up some grape jelly in exchange if y'all desire.

Brazos County Texas

1 Response

1. I'm assuming these are native muscadine grapevines, not named grape varieties. In that case, the non-producing vines are male vines so their flowers produce only pollen. It would be best to keep at least one of these vines to pollinate the productive female vine that you have.2, To keep your vines "under control", they will require some annual pruning. See the link below for some excellent guidelines on pruning muscadines.3. Most grapevines root readily from dormant "hardwood" cane cutting, but muscadines are more successfully propagated with softwood cuttings during the growing season. Here is a good link on propagation, pruning and general management of muscadines:http://www.smallfruits.org/Muscadines/production/MuscadineGuide2003.pdf4. Established vines can be moved while they are dormant if you take as large a root ball as possible, and prune back the top severely to more-or-less balance it with the root system.