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When to allow vines to fruit

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Dennis Griffith

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Ok, I know there are a lot of variables (and opinions) for this topic, but I've always been told to wait until the fourth year before letting the vines bear. Well, maybe I'm a little anxious to increase my production, but the vines I planted this spring are doing so well, I'm considering letting them bear next year (3rd year). I always evaluate vine health before allowing the fruit to stay on and didn't let some of my 4 year olds bear this year as they just didn't look robust enough. SO the basic question is, would you let them bear all of the first fruit set, or pinch off some and let them bear a reduced amount, of just make them wait to year 4? As a side note, after the first fruit set gets going good, I do pinch off subsequent clusters that form later. The main variety I grow is America. Here are a couple of shots of the heads compared to my stubby fingers to give you an idea.

DSCN3707.JPG DSCN3708.JPG
 

grapeman

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Yes you could let them bear some fruit next year. A third to a half crop should be alright for them. If the vines begin to look stunted after growing with a light crop just drop some of the fruit to get them going again alright.
 

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