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Do Your Muscadine Vines Refuse To Produce Grapes?

7:38 PM, Apr 13, 2012   |    comments
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Triad --  Many people in the Triad have muscadine vines.  They thrive in the southeast.  They are even North Carolina's state fruit.

However, a common problem is that some vines just don't produce grapes.  There can be several reasons but here are three of the most common issues according to Extension Agent,  Mary Helen Ferguson.

You could possibly have a male only vine.  They wouldn't be able to produce grapes because they simply don't have female flower parts.  Muscadines are sold as female or male/female now.  Years ago, some male only vines were sold.  You might also have a male only vine if it is growing wild.  Perhaps you have a female vine which isn't producing like it used to.  It's possible that there was a male pollinating it in the wild.  Maybe that male has been cleared without you knowing it but it's loss is preventing the female from producing. 

Pruning can also cause problems.  Lack of pruning or an overgrown vine won't produce well.  Over-pruning can cause trouble too.   According to Ferguson, "Muscadine fruit grows off of fruit from the previous year. If we were to prune beyond last year's growth, it's likely we would lose fruit production for one year."

One last common problem could have more to do with the environment.  If the vine is in an area with too much shade or is too wet, the vine won't produce well. 

If none of these seem to be your problem, you can call your local extension office and they can try to pinpoint more specific problems. 

MUSCADINE ICE 
By Diana Rattray

Ingredients:
•2 1/2 gallons muscadines
• water
• sugar
•lemon juice

Preparation:

Stem, wash, and mash muscadines. Strain and reserve juice. Put hulls and pulp in a kettle with a little water; bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes, adding a little more water if necessary to prevent scorching. Remove from heat and strain through a strainer or jelly bag. Add juice to the reserved juice. Sweeten with sugar to your taste and add a little lemon juice. Put in an ice cream freezer and freeze as you

Mary Helen Ferguson, Extension Agent

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