Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Monday - September 01, 2008

From: Montreal, QC
Region: Canada
Topic: Edible Plants, Vines
Title: Niagara and Concord grape crop failure
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Hi, I have been growing niagara grapes and concord grapes for 3 years now and this year I found myself without any fruits. The plant itself if full of leaves and is healthy. I was wondering why this was happening. Just to help you answer me I did plant berries behind it, the grapes hang on 3 wire that is about 12 feet long. Please help for I love my grapes.

ANSWER:

Both of your cultivars of the northeastern native species, Vitis glabrusca, are generally well-adapted to your area.  We cannot say for sure what caused your grapes' crop failure this year, but can list some of the common causes.  The most frequent cause would be a late spring freeze just at the time your grapes were flowering or beginning to set fruit.  Lack of pollinators when the vines are flowering is a more frequent cause nowadays.  Honey bees are the most common pollinators for grapes.  Other common causes are water stress - too much or too little at critical times.  High soil nitrogen caused by too much fertilizer.  Finally, disease and insect predation are possible, though less likely, causes.

The bad news is that this year's crop is a loss.  The good news is that your vines had an entire growth season to build up plant strength for next year's crop.  Watch your vines closely next year beginning at the time they flower and continue monitoring them through the growth of your grape crop.  You may then find the answer to your question.

Here is link to an online article, Growing Grapes for Home Use from the University of Minnesota Extension Service.

 

More Vines Questions

Native, non-invasive vines for wall cover in California
June 14, 2007 - I live on the Central Coast in California. I have a stucco garage wall, which receives full sun, and faces West. I would like to plant a climbing vine to cover the wall, and was considering a clim...
view the full question and answer

Need care instructions for Cardiosperma halicacabum in Little Rock, AR>
May 11, 2012 - I'd like to find out how to cultivate & care for a balloon vine/heart seed vine/love in a puff vine which I found growing wild in my yard (in Little Rock, Arkansas). There seems to be very little in...
view the full question and answer

A Bounty of Edibles for New Braunfels Texas
October 25, 2013 - I was hoping you could suggest a few plants that would serve several purposes. I live in New Braunfels, TX and would like to incorporate as many drought tolerant plants which would support birds, but...
view the full question and answer

Plants for pavilion over fountain in Washington State
December 26, 2008 - I have a tall fountain in a 7 foot square which is surrounded by pavers. Inside the 7' square there is about a 2' mulched soil bed around the center fountain and an iron type pavilion that goes up h...
view the full question and answer

Fast growing, evergreen vine for deck
May 14, 2008 - Hi, I hope you might help me select the most appropriate flowering vine for my situation. I am looking for a fast growing, mostly evergreen, and long blooming flowering vine for a large container (pro...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.