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Group Title: Bulletin
Title: Grape culture in Florida
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00003078/00001
 Material Information
Title: Grape culture in Florida
Series Title: Bulletin
Physical Description: 25 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Lord, E. L ( Earll Leslie ), b. 1881
Florida -- Dept. of Agriculture
Publisher: Dept. of Agriculture
Dept. of Agriculture
Place of Publication: Tallahassee Fla
Publication Date: 1927
Subject: Grapes -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Viticulture -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Bibliography: Bibliography: p. 21.
Statement of Responsibility: by E.L. Lord
General Note: Cover title.
General Note: "October, 1927."
General Note: "Supplement to Florida Quarterly Bulletin of the Department of Agriculture, October 1927."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00003078
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAA3630
ltuf - AKD9464
oclc - 28551878
alephbibnum - 001962787
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Full Text


New Series

Bulletin 63

Grape Culture

In Florida


Commissioner of Agriculture
Tallahassee, Florida



Grapes grow well In the central pa~rt of Floridm~


By E. L. LORD, Professor of Horticulture,
University of Florida

Recent developments in grape culture in Florida have re-
sulted in such changes in methods and varieties that anything
published before 1925 cannot give a complete picture of present
conditions. The Commissioner of Agriculture has therefore
thought it desirable that the writer prepare this bulletin, giv-
ing a resum6 of the present situation and recommendations
that might possibly be of value in the extension of this promis-
ing industry. New developments in grape growing will no
doubt in time produce many changes, and consequently this
publication can expect to be superseded at a later date. A care-
ful survey made by the writer during the summer of 1927
showed that under certain conditions grape culture returned
reasonable profits, so that some extension of the area devoted
to grape planting may be expected.

Early experimenting with grapes in Florida was largely un-
successful as the varieties were of northern or European origin.
Vines of these types have root systems that are poorly suited
to the soils and climatic conditions of the state, and in order to
grow such varieties successfully for any length of time one
must graft them on resistant stocks. There are several vine-
yards in the state which consist of northern varieties, such as
the Niagara and Concord, but even when these varieties are
grafted they have not been generally profitable. Only two
types of varieties have been found satisfactory on their own
roots in most of the state, the Muscadine grapes (Vitis rotundi-
folia) which include such varieties as the Scuppernong, Thomas,
and others, and the varieties which have been derived from the
Summer grape (Vitis aestivalis) and the closely related Post
Oak or Piney Woods grape (Vitis linsecumi). These grapes
are found growing wild over a large portion of the Gulf Coastal
Plain, where the soils and climatic conditions are markedly
different from those of the major grape areas of the world.
The Summer grape is found wild over the Southeastern states
as far west as Louisiana, where it is replaced by the Post Oak
grape, a form which is considered by many horticulturists as
a subspecies, but is usually represented as a separate species
by botanists. At any rate there is little difference in the soil
and climatic requirements of the two species, and they both
are of great value to Florida. Of the two types of grapes men-

tioned, Muscadine and bunch grapes, the Muscadine is severely
handicapped for commercial purposes, because of the small
bunches and poor attachment of the berries, so that it is only
of value when eaten fresh from the vine or when made into
various grape products. The other type, known in Florida as
bunch grapes, take practically the same position in the local
markets as the Concord in the Northern United States, and
some of the varieties (hybrids between the wild species, V.
aestivalis and V. linsecumi, and the European and northern
grapes) are of distinct promise as table grapes for markets out
of the state. Not only are these hybrids important as direct
producers, but experimental 'evidence shows that it is possible
to grow some of the northern and California varieties by using
hybrids from the native species as rootstocks.

While grapes may be grown successfully in most parts of
Florida, the site for a commercial vineyard should be chosen
carefully, as the vine in some locations is much more subject
to disease than in others. The soil should be well-drained and
as rich in plant food as possible. Soils capable of supporting
the growth of hardwoods (high hammock) are more desirable
than high pine land. Good air drainage is desirable for best
results, and a slope towards the southeast is a distinct advant-
age. Flatwoods lands are not as satisfactory because of the
tendency towards poor drainage; even when well drained, the
fruit ripens later on flatwoods soil than on upland. Another
point against the use of such lands is their lack of air drainage.
A more or less compact subsoil is desirable, but not imperative.
No opportunity should be overlooked to add humus to the soil
because of its waterholding capacity.
The prospective grower should keep in mind that not all
areas possessing the soils and conditions mentioned will be
found suitable for commercial grape growing; an examination
should also be made concerning transportation facilities,
amount of commercial acreage near at hand which will make
carlot shipments possible, and the facilities for reaching early
markets before grapes from other producing areas are offered.
Conditions in the state, especially in Central Florida, are so
much different from those in other grape producing sections
that the prospective grower will be wise in leaving the grape
proposition severely alone unless he is willing to give the sub-
ject thorough study and to adapt his practices to the condi-
tions met here.
While the question of soil is important and lack of plant food
or of humus in the soil may be a serious drawback, still the
main causes of unprofitable vineyards in Florida have been, not
infertility as found in our upland soils, but rather poor air and

water drainage, improper cultural practices, lack of cultiva-
tion, wrong methods of pruning and training, and injudicious
choice of varieties. It should be accepted as a rule that no ex-
tensive commercial planting of grapes should be made except
in localities that have been proven suitable. There is no doubt,
however, that grape growing may be successful in other re-
gions than where it is now a major project, but experimental
plantings for local markets should precede any planting on a
large scale.
Not only is it desirable to clear the land of stumps and roots
previous to planting a vineyard, but after this is done the land
should be plowed as deeply as possible, preferably using a
tractor, and if there is sufficient time remaining a cover crop
of cowpeas should be grown. The land should be disced thor-
oughly in late November so that it will be ready for planting
by the first of December.

Good healthy one-year-old plants are much better than older
ones. They start off more vigorously, and, if planted properly,
make a more uniform vineyard. It is usually preferable to buy
them from a nursery, as it saves a year's time and they can
be grown better by a nurseryman than by a planter in most
cases. A vigorous one-year-old grape vine should have two
or three canes 3 to 6 feet long and a heavy root system. Be-
fore planting the canes should be cut back to two or three
buds and the root system trimmed. They should never be
allowed to dry out; as soon as received they should be heeled
in, in moist well-drained soil until time for planting. They
should never be left in the package in which they were shipped
longer than absolutely necessary.

Grapes are usually propagated by cuttings. The varieties
most commonly used in Florida root better, as a rule, from
fairly long cuttings (12 to 15 inches). The lower end of the
cutting should be made just below the bud and the upper cut
should be an inch or two above the node in order to prevent
injury to the bud from drying out. These cuttings should be
made as soon after the first of December as practicable. After
cutting, tie into bundles of 25 with the butts even and bury
them, butts up, in moist, well-drained soil until the first of
February. At that time they should be lined out in the nursery.
A good friable garden soil.should be chosen for this nursery
and the cuttings planted four to six inches apart in 31/2 to 4-

foot rows. They should be inserted with the upper bud level
with the top of the soil, in a furrow made by a turning plow.
After planting, the ground should be thoroughly packed around
them, tramping it down or rolling with a heavy roller. They
should be fertilized rather heavily; on most soils a good truck-
ing fertilizer analyzing 5-8-3 may be used at the rate of a
thousand pounds per acre. The next December they may be
planted in the vineyard.
In many vineyards of the state varieties have been planted
that have not proven to be satisfactory. In such cases the
vineyard may be made over into one of the right variety by
grafting and only one year's crop lost. If the root system of
the old vine is vigorous and long-lived, saw it off two or three
inches above the surface of the soil, split the stock, insert a
cion of the desired variety, and cover stock, union and cion
with soil until they have united.
If the old vine does not promise to be long-lived and healthy,
graft in the same way, but make the union two or three inches
below the soil level. In the first case remove all roots from the
cion and sprouts from the stock, but, in the second case allow
the cion to form its own roots, using the old root system to
nurse the top for a year or so. Train the growth from the
cion to a stake and over the trellis, and a complete framework
can be produced in that season so that a full crop may be borne
the following season.
Some growers have found it profitable to grow certain vari-
eties, such as Niagara, President, Ellen Scott and others on
the more vigorous root systems of such varieties as R. W.
Munson, Carman, Herbemont, etc. Some very fine table grapes
have been produced in this way, but we need more experimental
work before recommendations can be made. We need to know
much more concerning the resistance of many stocks and their
congeniality with the different varieties as cions.

Under the climatic conditions found in Florida it should be
emphasized that the vineyard should be laid out so that the
rows run north and south. In a large vineyard where mach-
inery is used the rows should be ten feet apart, although in a
small vineyard eight or nine feet may be enough. This dist-
ance applies to all varieties, and is based on requirements for
harvesting, cultivating, and spraying. In large vineyards cross
alleys should be left. If the rows run up and down a rather
steep slope, the cross alleys should be terraces so that exces-
sive erosion is prevented. The distance apart that vines should
be planted in the row depends upon many factors, the variety,
the soil, type of pruning, etc. In general, weaker growing
vines should be planted closely (6 to 8 feet), while vigorous

I ^
.- A.

An exellet grape vineyard f tuhe estemr part of Floridar


u: 7

:.. .'

varieties should be planted 10 or 12 feet apart. Certain vari-
eties, which are quite vigorous, only bear well when pruned to
short canes, and these may be planted more closely.

As above mentioned, grape vines for planting should not be
allowed to dry out either before or after planting. If they are
planted in the winter, preferably in December or January, very
little further attention is necessary. Simply make a hole by
removing one or two shovelfuls of earth, place the vine in the
hole so that the buds will be above the surface, and tramp the
earth thoroughly about the roots. Watering is not necessary.
Most vines are lost because of drying out before planting or
insufficient packing of the soil.

Before the vine begins to grow in the spring it should be
cut back to two live buds. These will usually start off vigor-
ously. The strongest one should be left, but the other should
be topped above the second leaf and kept as a reserve shoot
in case the first should be injured. The one allowed to grow
should be carefully trained along an upright five-foot stake
which has been driven into the ground beside it. This is im-
portant, as if the trunk is upright and straight it will be
much help in supporting the weight of heavy crops. Under
ordinary conditions this shoot will grow very fast and should
reach a length of five feet by the last of June. Before it
reaches this point the trellis should be erected so that the vine
will be able to make sufficient growth upon it to produce a
satisfactory crop the following season.

The Munson system is the only one that the author recom-
mends for the bunch grape in Florida, as it is the one best
suited to our conditions. This system of training requires for
best results a three-wire trellis called the Munson three-wire
canopy trellis. The posts should be of heart pine or cypress,
preferably split, and not less than four inches in diameter at
any point. The end posts should be much heavier. They should
be long enough so that five and a half or six feet of the post
may be above the ground, and spaced sixteen or twenty feet
apart, according to the distance between the vines. The end
posts should be well braced and equipped with wire stretchers.
Metal ratchets will be found very satisfactory.
The best wire for trellising is No. 10 or No. 12 galvanized
smooth wire. It will require about 600 pounds of No. 10 or 400

pounds of No. 12 to trellis an acre. The lower wire should be
stapled to or run through the post about four inches from the
top or six inches from the top of the finished trellis. The top
of the post should be sawn off square and a 24- to 28-inch sec-
tion of 2x4-in. firmly spiked across the top, with the four-inch
side down. The outer and upper wires should be run across
the tops of the cross-arm about an inch from each end. At the

With adapted varietiess and proper cultural and spraying praetiees, large
yields of grapes are secured in Florida.

end posts this cross-arm should be spiked to the outer side of
the post rather than to the top for greater stability. While
it is important that the first or lower wire of the trellis should
be up by the middle of June it is not necessary to put up the
cross-arm and the other two wires until the following winter.

Before the grower can prune and train effectively he must
understand thoroughly the fruiting habit of the grape.
1. Fruit is borne only on wood of the current season
(shoots). Not all shoots will bear. Bearing shoots usually
come from wood of the previous season (canes); shoots from
older wood are usually barren. In some varieties the buds at
the base of the cane are often barren; these varieties should
be pruned to long arms, that is, the rods or canes should have
3 to 8 eyes. Most of the American vines belong to this class,
and pruning these varieties to spurs (canes with two buds)

reduces production heavily and increases the number of im-
perfect bunches. Some viniferas have fertile buds at the base
of the canes, and these may safely be pruned to spurs. Even
on the American varieties it is rarely profitable to leave more
than eight buds, as the buds beyond this are usually much less
productive; furthermore, it requires much more vigor to force
out such long canes and carry a crop upon them. Consequently
the bearing wood is divided into a number of canes (2 to 4)
containing 4, 6 or 8 buds, according to age, vigor and variety.
2. The number of buds left is the measure of the future
crop; as most varieties bear two or three bunches to the shoot,
if one knows the average weight of bunch and average number
of bunches per shoot (both characters very uniform with the
variety) it is a simple matter, when the grower is sufficiently
experienced, to regulate the crop according to the bearing ca-
pacity of the vine. In this connection it is wiser to err on the
side of conservatism, in order not to weaken the vine by too
heavy bearing.
3. The productiveness of the buds (eyes) depends upon the
condition of the vine the previous summer. The leaf which
subtends the bud should be healthy during the period when the
inflorescence is forming, and the vine should have adequate
supplies of potash without an overdose of nitrogen at this time.
If the foliage of the cane selected has been lost early in the
season the cane will usually be unproductive.
4. All pruning, except the shaping of the young vine, the
pinching out of the tips of the terminal shoots, and the rubbing
off of unnecessary buds from the trunk should be done when
the vine is dormant, preferably in December, if early crops are
desired. Late pruning gives late grapes and early pruning
early grapes, other factors being equal.
5. It is safer to wait until a good rain has fallen in autumn
or early winter, before pruning the vine, as otherwise the prun-
ing wounds do not heal well and are easily infected by disease
which may destroy the vines.
6. Unless the vines are too vigorous, do not prune until most
of the leaves have fallen.
7. The removal of active developed leaves lessens vigor.
Consequently, in shaping the vine the laterals and other
undesirable shoots should be pinched out at the growing tips,
allowing all leaves that have unfolded and developed a green
color to remain.
8. The more nearly vertical a shoot is trained the more
vigorous it will be. For this reason the young vine should be
trained and tied in a vertical position until it reaches the trellis.
The aim should be to get it upon the trellis as soon as possible,
and this may be done in a short time if it is kept vertical and
if the laterals are pinched out before they develop.
9. While many viniferas may bear well when the canes are

trained upright, most of the varieties having a high percent-
age of native blood bear best when the canes are kept in a
horizontal position or allowed to droop.
10. In varieties that tend to set poorly, or if extra fancy
bunches are desired, better sized bunches may be obtained if
the shoot is pinched just before the first flowers begin to open.
This tends to divert an extra amount of food into the inflor-
escence, thereby favoring fruit setting.
11. The best canes to select for bearers should be well-
ripened (browned nearly to the tip). Preference should be
given to canes that have borne well the previous season, as
they usually carry more fertile eyes than non-bearers.

The Munson System of Pruning is a cane system where the
canes are all on one level and are renewed each year from the
head. The only old wood permitted in the Munson system
consists of the trunk. Bearing canes are trained along the
lower wire, and the shoots are supported by the two upper
wires. The fruit, which is usually borne on the third, fourth
and fifth or sixth nodes of the shoots, according to variety, is
supported by the cane and shoot attachment to the lower wire
and the shoot attachment to the lateral wires. In consequence,
the fruit hangs below the trellis, free from tangling with shoot
or cane, and protected by the foliage from sun scald. It can
be easily reached for spraying and harvesting, and is sufficiently
free from the remainder of the vine so that it dries out easily
in the morning (especially if the rows run north and south).
This system is in every way so much better suited to the needs
of the Florida grower that the use of any other is a severe
handicap in commercial grape growing. One of the most
serious mistakes which the beginner in Florida is likely to
make is the copying of systems used generally in the north
and west. These systems are suited neither to our vines nor
our climate.
The number of canes to be left depends upon the vigor and
fruit-bearing habits of the variety. Very vigorous vines
ordinarily will carry four canes of six or eight eyes each; those
of medium vigor may carry best two canes of five or six eyes,
while those of a weaker tendency may require close pruning
(three or four eyes to each cane).
Not only is it important to estimate correctly the number
of canes and eyes to leave, but it is very necessary that the
grower realize the necessity of leaving two or three short two-
bud spurs as near the head as possible, so that there will be a
sufficient number of renewal canes close to the head available
for next year's pruning. All old wood, with the exception of
the amount in the trunk, should be removed as soon as possible.

Muscadines, because the bunches are small, require a large
amount of cane in order to produce satisfactory crops. Usually
they are trained on arbors, and if attention is paid to develop-
ing sufficient renewal wood, this method is very well suited to
the man who wishes this valuable fruit for home use. They
will also succeed very well when grown on a three-wire vertical
trellis. By using six arms, three trained each way, renewing
these arms every three or four years, and pruning the previous
year's wood back to five or six-eye spurs each winter, heavy
crops may be produced. While it is a generally believed fallacy
that pruning muscadines is injurious, it is a fact that regular
and heavy crops can only be produced on muscadines by the aid
of pruning. Contrary to the general idea also, bleeding of these
vines causes no appreciable injury, although tender-hearted
persons may prune them in late November just after leaf-fall
if they wish to reduce bleeding to a minimum.

The first year in the life of a vineyard it is very necessary
to keep up frequent cultivation, in order that the vines may
make even and vigorous growth. All cultivation should be
very shallow, not more than two or three inches deep. An
Oliver grape hoe is very satisfactory for this purpose, because
it enables the grower to keep most of the soil under the trellis
clean without injuring the vines; furthermore, soil may be
thrown toward or away from the vine. A one-horse Acme
harrow is very useful when the soil is free from weeds. After
the vineyard is well established cultivation should be frequent
during the dry months of spring and early summer, but a cover
crop should be sown in the middles before the summer rains
The higher rolling lands which are best suited to grape cul-
ture lack the plant foods found in most grape soils, and it is
not only necessary to fertilize them but it is essential to grow
cover crops in order to supply the decaying vegetable matter
which keeps the vine healthy and vigorous. Cover crops not
only add plant food to the soil, but also make it more easily
handled. They increase waterholding capacity, aeration, and
bacterial activity. On the amount of humus and its character
the life of a vineyard often depends. While stable manure is
exceptionally desirable for grapes, it is almost impossible to
obtain. This forces the vineyardist to rely on commercial fer-
tilizers and cover crops. The frequent cultivation that the
grape requires when combined with hot sunshine and almost

daily rains oxidizes the humus of the soil very rapidly, and, if
arrangements are not made for its replacement, soon makes
the soil of the vineyard sterile.
The best crops to use for adding plant food and humus to
the soil are legumes. Crotalaria, Brabham cowpeas, bush
velvet beans and beggarweed are very satisfactory. Crotalaria
will probably be the most useful legume in central and southern
Florida; it adds a larger tonnage of material with a higher
nitrogen content than any other plant available. It should be
planted in every vineyard in central Florida. Even if it should
not reseed itself, the cost of seed for planting is a small item
when compared to the results gained.
Not only should a summer cover crop be planted, but a winter
one as well. Rustproof oats or Abruzzi rye will help turn the
soluble plant food in the soil into humus and save it for the
following year's crop.
In turning under a cover crop in the vineyard do not attempt
to cover it all at once by deep plowing. This would be wasted
effort and is based upon a mistaken idea. Rather cut it in by
using a spooled disc harrow, as it is only necessary to kill the
crop and break up the stalks so that cultivation may be con-
tinued. Even in the spring, if there is a large amount of trash
on the surface, it is a great advantage in that it helps to keep
the upper few inches of soil in a moist condition.

While the grape vine is usually classed as a poor land crop,
and flourishes well on light soils more or less deficient in plant
food, yet it is undoubtedly true that in Florida vineyards will
not be successful unless fertilized. While frequent and regular
cultivation, as well as an even supply of moisture, favor the
growth of the vine, proper feeding beyond what is already con-
tained in the soil will give rich returns. It is not out of place
here to emphasize the) fact that it is much easier to keep up
vigor and productiveness by proper feeding than to restore
wornout vines.
The elements most needed by the vine are nitrogen, phos-
phoric acid, and potash. The nitrogen affects growth, and a
vine receiving sufficient of this element will be vigorous with
leaves of a dark green color. If the fertilization is one-sided,
that is, contains large amounts of this element with an insuffi-
cient amount of potash and phosphoric acid, the bunches and
berries will be large, but will tend to ripen late, and the vine
itself will be much more subject to disease injury. Nitrogen
is the most essential substance in wood and leaf production,
and consequently it is important that an increased supply be
present in the soil of a young vineyard, or of an old one which
tends to produce insufficient wood.

Phosphoric acid helps the vine to take up nitrogen and other
plant foods, assists in the setting of the berries and the ripen-
ing of wood and fruit, favors root development, and is invalu-
able in stimulating the growth of the legumes used for cover
Potash is very necessary to the vine; it increases the sugar
content of the fruit and total yield of the vine, promotes the
ripening of the canes, increases the resistance of the foliage
and the canes to disease, and regulates the rate at which the
vine can take up nitrogen, giving a more even and firmer type
of growth.
If the grower has it available, no doubt the best fertilizer
for the vine is barnyard manure with enough superphosphate
added to bring up the phosphoric acid content. For vines bear-
ing about four tons per acre, 15 pounds per vine should be
applied before growth begins, and one or two pounds of super-
phosphate or bone meal should have been applied to the vine
the previous November. Unfortunately barnyard manure is
not usually obtainable, and commercial fertilizer must be used.
A commercial fertilizer analyzing 5 to 6 % nitrogen, 8 % phos-
phoric acid and 8 to 10% potash will give good results if
applied at the rate of 1 to 3 pounds per vine to a bearing vine-
yard. Either the stable manure or the commercial fertilizer
should be applied in the spring before growth begins in order
to affect the current season's crop, as the required nitrogen
and phosphorus are almost entirely absorbed during the spring
flush. If the leaves begin to show a tendency to lose color in
the late summer they will respond well to a moderate applica-
tion of nitrate of soda or sulphate of ammonia.
The fertilizing of young vines should be radically different
from that of bearing vines. Here the demand is for nitrogen
with a comparatively small amount of phosphoric acid and
potash. A fertilizer analyzing 5 to 6% nitrogen, 8% phos-
phoric acid and 2 to 3% potash will give good results. It should
be applied before growth begins and again at the beginning
of the rainy season. Light application of nitrate of soda or
sulphate of ammonia in early April and again in late July will
also be found advantageous, helping to keep the young vine
in vigorous growth.
As to the source of fertilizer materials, part of the nitrogen
should be derived from inorganic and part from organic
sources; the phosphoric acid from bone meal or super-
phosphate; and the potash from either the sulphate or the
muriate. Any good trucking fertilizer of the analysis men-
tioned above can be used with satisfactory results. In all fer-
tilization it should be kept in mind that with the grape vine
no amount of fertilizer will be of value if tillage, green manur-
ing, pruning, or disease control are in any way neglected.

There are a number of fungous diseases which attack the
grape in Florida, but fortunately they can be controlled by
thorough spraying. Spraying is absolutely essential to success-
ful grape growing in this state as in the other grape produc-
ing districts of eastern North America. The most important
diseases of the grape in Florida are anthracnose (Sphaceloma
ampelinum), black rot (Guignardia bidwellii), and downy
mildew (Plasmopara viticola).
Anthracnose.-This disease attacks the young shoots, leaves
and fruit. On the leaves and young shoots it produces brown
spots with a reddish margin, and on the fruit the spots are
similar, and this phase of the disease has received the name
"bird's eye rot." On the fruit these spots gradually enlarge
until the berry hardens and wrinkles. This disease is especi-
ally dangerous to certain varieties, such as Ellen Scott and
Armalaga, and is very serious when it once gains a foothold.
It may be prevented by thorough spraying with Bordeaux
mixture. Winter treatment of the vines with a solution of blue-
stone is also valuable.
Black Rot.-This disease is not as serious in Florida as in
the more northern states. Niagara and Concord are more
susceptible to it than are the Munson hybrids. Its cause is
a fungus which produces summer and winter spores. The
winter spores are carried over in the diseased wrinkled berries
and infect the leaves, shoots and young fruit. Small reddish-
brown circular spots about a quarter of an inch in diameter
appear on the upper surface of the leaves. A ring of black
pustules can be seen near the margin of each spot. The sum-
mer spores are produced in these pustules. Whitish soft spots
appear on the fruit; these turn brown, then black, and the
berry dries, shrivels, and becomes hard. Minute black pustules
now develop over the surface, producing in their turn the so-
called winter spores. In controlling this disease all old "mum-
mies" and infected shoots should be removed and burned. The
vineyard should be sprayed with Bordeaux mixture, which will
give good control if used before the disease develops to any
Downy Mildew.-This disease attacks the foliage and the
fruit. Certain varieties, such as Delaware and many contain-
ing a high percentage of vinifera blood are quite susceptible
to it. It usually first appears as yellowish spots on the leaves;
these change to a brownish color, and a downy, whitish growth
appears on the undersurface. This growth consists largely of
white cigar-shaped spores, which ripen rapidly and are scat-
tered throughout the vineyard, infecting all vines which are
not immune to it. The same fungus attacks the young fruit,
forming a brownish spot, which later becomes gray and downy.

In this stage it is called gray rot. On older fruit it produces a
soft rot, causing the fruit to fall off at the slightest touch.
This disease can be controlled by Bordeaux mixture, although
most of the varieties at present grown in the state are highly
resistant to it.
Ripe Rot (Glomerella cingulata) and Bitter Rot (Melancon-
ium fuligineum) are serious diseases that attack the berry
during ripening and after harvesting. They may both be
controlled by spraying the bunches just as they begin to color
with a non-staining fungicide such as copper acetate. This
treatment will also help to control the other rots mentioned.

The Grape Phylloxera (Phylloxera vitifoliae) is perhaps the
most important of the insects with which we have to deal, as
it often is the limiting factor in a vineyard of viniferas or of
certain labrusca varieties such as Concord or Niagara. Native
varieties are rarely injured by it, rotundifolia and aestivalis
being almost immune, while hybrids between aestivalis and
vinifera or labrusca show varying degrees of resistance. On
this account the best method of control is naturally to grow
only resistant varieties. However, susceptible varieties are
being successfully grown by grafting on resistant stock, as the
insects are in the soil and usually limit their activities to the
root system, although galls sometimes appear on the leaves.
A very sandy soil may make it possible to grow susceptible
varieties for a few years, while in a clay soil the same vines
would be killed in a very short time.
The larva of the Grape Berry-Moth (Polychrosis viteana)
attacks both the flower cluster and the young fruit. The early
brood destroys the buds and flowers of the opening cluster and
weaves a characteristic web about the little stems which sup-
port the fruit. The later brood feed upon the pulp of the
berries, often ruining the whole bunch. The addition of
arsenate of lead to the Bordeaux mixture used for disease
control will cut short the damage due to this insect.
Another destructive larva is the Grape Leaf-Skeletonizer
(Harrisina americana). The eggs are laid by the moth on the
under surface of the leaves. The small yellow caterpillars
marked by rows of black tubercles, ranged in ranks like sold-
iers, eat voraciously until they have devoured all the soft part
of the leaf and only the veins are left. Arsenate of lead is
also the remedy for this insect or hand picking may suffice if
only a few vines are attacked.
Still another larva, the Grape Leaf-Folder (Desmia funer-
alis), destroys the leaves. This one first folds the two halves
of the leaf together by means of a weblike secretion and feeds
from the inside of the fold. Leaves without a hairy or downy

surface are rarely attacked. The same treatment as for other
larvae is used.
The Grape Leaf-Hopper (Typhlocybe comes) appears on the
under surface of the leaves in early summer, sucking out the
juices and causing them to turn yellow and die. As this is a
sucking insect, arsenate of lead would have no effect, but a
spray containing a contact poison should be used before the
first brood can lay eggs. One-half pint of nicotine sulphate
(nicotine 40 per cent) added to 50 gallons of Bordeaux mixture
and sprayed on the under surface of the leaves very early in
the summer will usually give good control.
The Grape Curculio (Craponius inaequalis) feeds upon the
leaves for about two weeks during the blooming season, laying
its eggs in the berries as soon as they are large enough. When
the larvae hatch out they attack both pulp and seed. This
insect is also killed by arsenicals if they are applied to the
leaves at the proper time.
The tender shoots are often attacked by a small brownish
insect, the Brown Grape Aphis (Illinoia viticola). Predaceous
and parasitic insects usually keep these pests from becoming
too numerous, but if they threaten to become a serious menace,
the vines should be sprayed with nicotine sulphate.
Rabbits may be discouraged from eating the tender new
growth by the use of dried blood about the vine as a fertilizer
or by traps or guns, which must also be used for the raccoons
which are very fond of the fruit. Cutworms are best control-
led by planting on cleared land or by poisoned baits. Traps and
guns are used to check the damage due to birds, although in
the smaller vineyards the fruit may be bagged after the third
or fourth spraying.
The most efficient method available for the control of grape
diseases and insects is that of spraying with fungicides and
insecticides. However, spraying must not be considered in any
way a method of curing these troubles, but rather a method
of preventing them by covering the surface of the vine with
substances which prevent the development of the causal organ-
Other means are also of value if consistently carried out. The
vineyard and packing shed should be kept free of rotton
berries, mummied fruit, infected prunings, etc. Such material
should be burned or buried as soon as possible. Tillage aids in
covering any such material that is too small to pick up easily.
Proper fertilization and cultivation aid also in keeping the vine
in a healthy condition so that it is more resistant to disease.
Covering the vines, trellis, and wires immediately after prun-
ing, while the vines are still dormant, with a solution of blue-
stone (copper sulphate) of a fairly high strength (4 lbs. to 50

gals. of water) is a very valuable agency in preventing the vine-
yard from carrying injurious fungi over the winter and thus
avoids the infection of the new shoots.
The most common and most valuable fungicide for the use
of the grape grower is 4-3-50 Bordeaux mixture. This is the
standard material for applying to the vine throughout the
season. It should be used as soon as possible after mixing, as
it is then more active. As Bordeaux leaves a staining residue
on all parts of the vine, it is important to substitute some other
chemical on the ripening fruit. Probably the best spray to use
under these conditions is copper acetate (verdigris). A solution
of two pounds of basic copper acetate to 50 gallons of water
gives the grape grower very valuable aid, as bunches that have
been sprayed thoroughly with this solution carry well to mar-
ket, because they are not as subject to the various rots which
are liable to attack the fruit after it has been harvested.
In controlling the insects that are liable to attack the grape,
arsenate of lead should' be added to the Bordeaux at the rate
of ll/-lbs. to 50 gals. of Bordeaux for chewing insects, and
1/2 pint of nicotine sulphate to 50 gals. of Bordeaux for suck-
ing insects. The grape grower is fortunate in that he can
control all three troubles by the same spray when it is properly
mixed. Of course phylloxera should be excepted, but it is of
slight importance unless northern or European varieties are
grown. In this case the desired varieties must be grafted on
resistant stock.*
While the grower with a few vines will be able to control
diseases and insects by using a knapsack or barrel sprayer, the
commercial grower requires a power spraying outfit for satis-
factory results. Unless the vine is completely covered with a
fine spray it is only partially protected.
The question of varieties is still unsettled. In the Peninsula
the only varieties which have been found satisfactory for mar-
ket, especially if they are to be grown without grafting, are
the Florida Beacon and the Carman. These will succeed on
their own roots wherever commercial planting is profitable.
For local markets earlier varieties may be grown, but they
*Complete discussion of the method of preparing these sprays, use, etc., will be found
in Bulletin No. 178, of the Florida Experiment Station.



o, Anthracnose,
Black Rot,
au --M
No2 Black Rot.
Downy Mildew,
Grape Berry-moth,
Various insects,

Same as No, 2, for circulo
o,3 and leaf hopper,


Bluestone, 4 bs,; water, 50 gals,

Bordeaux mixture, 4350 formula,
to which is added IV Ibs, of dry
lead arsenate,

Bordeaux mixture, 4350 formula,
to which is added li lbs, of dry
lead arsenate, N pint of 40%
nicotine sulphate and 1 lb. rosin
fish-oil (or 2 lbs, yellow laundry)


When vines are dormant
Cover vines, posts and wires,

A week before the fower buds

As soon as blossoms fall,

No, 4 Same as No, 3, Same as No, 3 When fruit is half grown,

Copper acetate, 2 lbs,; water, 49
S Fungous diseases, no.stain gals. When thoroughly mixed Just before the frit colors,
ing, adda "sticker" (4 oz, gelatine and
1 gal warm water),


must be grafted on resistant stock. Such varieties as Niagara,
Ellen Scott, Edna, Matilda, and Csaba have been successful
when grafted on such vigorous stocks as Beacon, R. W. Munson,
Herbemont, or Lenoir. Several viniferas appear to be promis-
ing when grown on the proper stock, but sufficient experimental
work has not been done to justify commercial planting.
In West Florida, Carman has been more widely planted than
any other variety. Others that appear to be profitable for local
market are the Armalaga and Muench on their own roots, and
Brilliant, President, and Niagara when grafted on resistant
stock. Concord, Moore Early, and Worden have been tried in
North Florida, but ripen very unevenly and the vines are short-
lived unless grafted, so that they cannot be recommended.
Because of the unfamiliarity of the growers with grape
market requirements, many of our grapes have been placed on
the market in bad shape. This condition was much improved
this season (1927) with the result that satisfactory prices were
received, especially on local markets, where the grapes have
become known. There is no doubt, however, that harvesting
methods can be improved.
For table grapes, it is important that the grapes be suffi-
ciently ripened, and that the bunches be full, with the bloom
undisturbed. This result can only be obtained when the
grapes are handled as little as possible as well as carefully.
In picking, the bunch must be held by the stem without
touching the berries themselves. The stem should be clipped
with a pair of shears, never pulled from the vine. Grapes
should not be picked when wet, neither should the harvested
fruit be allowed to stand in the sun. As soon as possible they
should be carried to the packing shed.
Most table grapes should be sent to market in the standard
four basket carrier similar to that used for California table
grapes. While some markets will take lugs or climax baskets,
it is not to the advantage of the grower to ship in either at
the present time, as this fruit goes on the market as fancy,
early table grapes, and the consumer is accustomed to buying
such grapes in the four basket carrier. If they are presented
in any other form they are heavily discounted and go into
competition with other grapes and are associated in price with
them. The culls and varieties that are sold as juice grapes or
for local market may be very well handled from lugs if there
is no discrimination against this package.
Most of the grapes in Florida are sold on the local markets
as table grapes, but many of them have been converted into

juice and other grape products, such as jelly, marmalade, etc.
Over fifteen carloads of grapes were shipped out of the state
during the past season (1927), and while there are no com-
plete figures as to production, it has been estimated that about
700 tons were produced the past season, most of it being sold
locally. A large percentage was disposed of at roadside stands,
which saved the retailer's profit for the producer.
The price received for No. 1 table grapes in the Peninsula
varied from 10 to 20 cents a pound, according to the variety
and season, average price received by the producer for this
grade being about 12 cents. As the cost of production is well
below this figure, profits have been very satisfactory, with the
demand much greater than the supply. In West Florida the
situation is much similar, although both the price received and
the cost of production are as a rule lower in this section. Prices
received there by the producer ranged from 5 to 15 cents a
pound, averaging about 8 cents. If future prices hold any-
where near the level of the past season, it would even pay to
plant such varieties as Niagara on their own roots with the
expectation that they would die out in five years, and still the
industry would be profitable. However, such a practice is not
recommended, as there are other varieties which are at the
same time long lived and satisfactory for the production of
table grapes. As the demand for Florida table grapes has been
steadily increasing for several years, there is no doubt that
enlargement of the industry may be expected, although it will
be much more satisfactory to let the demand remain ahead of

Munson, T. V., Foundations of American Grape Culture.
New York, 1909.
Hedrick, U. P., Manual of American Grape Growing. New
York, 1925.
Perold, A. I., A Treatise on Viticulture. London, 1927.
Rhoads, A. S., Diseases of Grapes in Florida. Bulletin No.
178 of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station.
Husmann, G. C., Grape Propagation, Pruning and Training.
Farmers' Bulletin No. 471, U. S. D. A.
Quaintance, A. L., and Shear, C. L., Insect and Fungous
Enemies of the Grape. Farmers' Bulletin No. 1220, U. S. D. A.
Dearing, Charles, Muscadine Grapes. Farmers' Bulletin No.
709, U. S. D. A.
This list of publications is given for the benefit of those
readers who desire more information about grapes than can be
condensed in a bulletin of this size.


Variety Origin Race Vigor Size of Bunch Size of Berry Color Use

Dessert and
Csaba Europe Vinifera Medium Large Medium White market
Aestivalis Dessert and
Headlight Texas hybrid Medium Small Small Red market
Aestivalis Dessert and
Brilliant Texas hybrid Medium Large Large Red market
Aestivalis Very Dessert and
Lomanto Texas hybrid vigorous Medium Medium Black market
Labrusca Dessert and
Presidet Texas hybrid Medium Medium Large Black market
New Aestivalis Dessert and
Delaware Jersey hybrid Weak Small Small Red market
Aestivalis Very Dessert, juice
R. W. Munson Texas hybrid vigorous Large Medium Black and market
Aestivalis Dessert and
Mathilda Texas hybrid Medium Large Medium Violet market
Labrusca Dessert and
Niagara New York hybrid Medium Large Large White market
Aestivalis ery Dessert and
Beacon (Fla,) Texas hybrid vigorous Large large Black market
Labrusca Dessert, juice
Concord Mass, hybrid Medium Medium Large Black and market
Labrusca Very Bright Dessertand
Goethe Mass, hybrid vigorous Medium Large Red market

Aestivalis Very Dessert and
Armalaga Texas hybrid vigorous Large Large White market
Aestivalis Very Dessert and
Edna Teas hybrid vigorous Large medium White maet
estivalis Very Dessert and
Carman Texas hybrid vigorous Large Medium Black market
Aestivalis Very Dessert and
Ellen Scott Texas hybrid vigorous Verylarge Large Violet market
Aestivalis Very Juice and
Herbemont Georgia hybrid igorousi Large Small Violet market

Muench Texas

Fern Teas



Georgia hybrid
Carolina Rotundifolia
Carolina Rotundifolia
Carolina otAndifolia
CNorth udif
Carolina Rotundifolia

vigorous Large
Very -
vigorous Iedium


vigorous Small
vigorous Small
vigorous Small
vigorous Small

Medium Black

Hledium Black

Medium Medium Black

Large Bed

Large Bronze

Very large Black

Dessert and
Dessert and
market Ca
Dessert and
Dessert, juice
and market
Dessert and
Dessert and
Dessert, juice
and market

North Dessert and
Flowers Carolina Rotundifoli Medium Small Medium Black juice


Variety Quality Distance Pruning Length Remarks
to plant System ofeane

Csaba Excellet 8 feet Mnson 1-2 feet ust be grafted on resistant stock

Excellent 8 feet

Good 8 feet

Fair 12-16feet

Good 810 feet

Excellent 8 feet

Good 12-16 feet

Excellent 8-10feet






R, Munson



Beacon (Fla)




or Fan





2- feet

2- feet

N feet

2-3 feet

2 feet

N feet

24 feet

2- feet

2 feet

Self-sterile, A very early Delaware

Desirable for local market

Very healthy and vigorous

Early and satisfactory if grafted M

Fine quality

Self-sterile, Requires interplanting

Satisfactory if grafted

Short-lived in Florida

Good shipping variety

Ripens nevenly and is short-lived in
Concord Fair 8 feet Muen -feet Florida

Goethe Excellent 1 feet 10 Mhnon 2 feet Shnort-livedul grafted

8 feet

12-16 feet



Analaga Excellent l0 feet Mnson 23 feet Localmarket, A goodshipper

Edna Ex ellent 10-12 feet Munson 24 feet Sefstelle, Good for local market

Carman Fair 12 feet Manson 2-4 feet A good shipper

Excellent 8.-10feet

Good 1216 feet

Good 1216 feet

Good 12 feet

Good 16 feet

20 feet

20 feet

16 feet

16 feet

Thomas Good

Scuppernong Good

James Fair

lish Excellent



Arbor or
or Fan

1-2 feet

34 feet

3- feet

3-4 feet

6 feet

8 feet


G feet

6 feet

A good shipper

Fine for juie and as a stock

Good for late market

Selfsterile, Latest good bunch grape
Self-sterile, Does well on clay; very

Selfsterile, Best for muscadine


Selfsterile, The largest muscadine
Self-sterile, The best muscadine in

Ellen Scott





Flowers Poor 16 feet renewal 6 feet Selfisterile, The latest muscadine

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