The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
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site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.
Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
( L UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA C Library L. LORI.
----' .i LEESBURG FLORIDA 32744
CENTRAL FLORIDA RESEARCH AND
EDUCATION CENTER, LEESBURG APR 10 1~s8
5336 UNIVERSITY AVE.
(GAINESVILLE LINE 392-7272) University of Florida
SCHEDULE FOR GRAPE PRODUCTION PRACTICES IN FLORIDA
J. A. Mortensen
J. W. Harris
Florida is unique among the 50 states in being located on a peninsula
jutting southward between large bodies of salt water. Stresses on grapevines
are affected by this. For example, Pierce's disease (PD) and anthracnose are
greater problems here than in other states, necessitating the use of
PD-resistant varieties and regular preventive sprays of fungicide for
The importance of proper timing for fertilizing, liming, spraying,
irrigating, pruning, training, and controlling weeds cannot be overemphasized
if Florida viticulture is to be successful.
This research report is designed to inform Florida growers about what
needs to be done on grapes and the proper time of year to do it. Growers
should keep the schedule handy as a reminder of the needs for a particular
month. While the list is shorter between September and December, there is
nevertheless something to be done every month of the year.
1. Construct trellis over rows before planting the vines, and install
2. Transplant bare-rooted vines from nursery in January or February.
Potted vines may be planted any month of the year in vineyard. Hold
back a few plants in pots for replanting skips as they occur during the
3. Prune dormant vines. If some green leaves are still on vines wait until
early February to prune. Stover and Suwannee should be pruned later to
avoid damage from March freeze. Replace posts, staples, and trellis
anchors as needed; tighten wires with fence stretcher as needed, and the
vines to wire with baling twine. The time of wire tightening should
always precede the time of tying canes with twine, but should be after
Leesburg CFREC Research Report LBG 89-1
COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE
SCHOOL OF FOREST RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION CENTER FOR TROPICAL. AGRICULTURE
The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sclences __an Equal Employment Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer authorized to provide research, educational
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4. Cuttings: make cuttings of bunch grapes if needed (8" long for potting
and 12" long for nursery); bury in builder's sand for callusing,
covering with 5" or more of sand. Water well but protect from excessive
rainfall. Muscadines do not root well from dormant cuttings (see June).
1. Complete planting and grafting operations during February. Early
February is the best time for grafting in central Florida. Use waxed
milk cartons or tar paper rings to keep mounds of builder's sand in
place around grafts. Bench grafts should be stored in damp sand for
several weeks after grafting until callused.
2. Continue pruning and tying grapevines, completing bunch grapes in
February. Remove prunings to a burn area.
3. Begin clean cultivation and mulching around plants. Mowing of row
middles may be necessary.
4. Install a stake (1/2" PVC pipe or treated wood stake) by each vine,
fastening to the trellis wire with fine galvanized wire to prevent
blowing over in the wind.
5. Water buried cuttings and graft mounds in cartons as needed.
6. Broadcast first application of fertilizer on bearing bunch grape vines
(600 lbs. 12-4-8 per acre). For non-bearing vines, fertilize in
circular pattern around vine from trunk out about one foot, using 1/4
lb. per vine every month. Do not fertilize newly set plants until
March, after growth begins.
7. Apply fungicide as dormant spray to bunch grapes at time of budswell for
earliest variety. Read and observe label.
1. Complete pruning and tying of muscadine grapes by March 20. Apply
fungicide as dormant spray to muscadines at time of budswell (usually
Mar. 25-31 at Leesburg).
2. Check callus development on bench grafts, planting bench grafts in
one-gallon pots. Use one-quart milk cartons to protect graft unions,
filling with sand to top bud.
3. When bunch grape buds are 2 inches long begin spraying fungicide on
bearing vines every 2 weeks. Include insecticide only if vine
inspection reveals a need for it.
4. Apply Roundup herbicide to a 3 ft wide strip under the vine trellis
after installing 1/2 gallon milk cartons around young plants to prevent
damage. Be sure each plant is staked to prevent carton from blowing
away in wind.
5. Irrigate buried bunch grape cuttings, nursery, vineyard, and graft
mounds in cartons as needed.
6. Fertilize non-bearing and newly set plants.z
7. Cuttings: dig up buried bunch grape cuttings when callus and roots form
and before buds swell more than 1 inch; plant in nursery rows (12"
ones), or pots (8" ones).
1. Spray bunch grapes with fungicide. At least one fungicidal spray during
full bloom is important. Apply insecticide if needed but do not use
Sevin during bloom (kills bees). Don't spray muscadines in April.
2. Irrigate nursery, vineyard, and graft cartons as needed.
3. Remove unwanted shoots and suckers, tying wanted growth to stake with
tapener; train young vines and grafts up the stake (twice over vineyard
4. Mow all row middles as needed.
5. Fertilize non-bearing vinesz and cutting nursery.
6. Remove graft mounds and cartons when scions are about 15 inches long.
Cut off any scion roots and tapen to stake.
7. Spray gibberellin on seedless grapes about one week after bloom and a
week later to increase berry size and eliminate gritty seed remnants.
1. Continue spraying bunch grapes every two weeks with fungicide. Begin
regular spraying of muscadines with fungicide when blooms open applying
every 2 weeks thereafter until near harvest. Include insecticide when
insects are causing damage. Read and observe labels, and be sure to
observe "days before harvest" regulations on label.
2. Apply Roundup in trellis rows as needed for weed control (usually 6
weeks between Roundup application).
3. Irrigate as needed.
4. Continue sprouting, tapening each vine to stakes and trellis as it grows
(twice over vineyard in May).
5. Broadcast second application of 12-4-8 to bearing bunch grape vines (600
lb. per acre).
6. Fertilize non-bearing plants.Z
See item 6 in February
7. Mow as needed in row middles.
8. Rototill, hoe, or cultivate cutting nursery as needed.
1. Spray with fungicide both bunch grapes and muscadines, adding
insecticide if insect buildup warrants it. Read and observe labels,
observing "days before harvest" for the chemical used.
2. Irrigate as needed.
3. Broadcast second application to bearing muscadine grapevines (600 lb. of
12-4-8 per acre).
4. Fertilize non-bearing plants.z
5. As needed, continue staking, tying, training and sprouting young vines
(2-3 times over vineyard in June).
6. Replant all skips with potted vines as needed with the same variety.
7. Apply Karmex to mature vineyard as a preemergence herbicide (only once a
8. Mow row middles as needed.
9. Cuttings: begin in early June making softwood cuttings of muscadines
for propagation under mist. Apply liquid fertilizer to cuttings after 4
weeks in mist bed.
1. Spray fungicides, observing days before harvest regulations of different
fungicides. Read and observe label.
2. Harvest bunch grape when ripe, transporting rapidly to refrigeration.
3. Apply Roundup or Paraquat herbicide as needed for weed control.
Rototill nursery and hoe weeds in rows as needed.
4. Fertilize non-bearing plantsz and cutting nursery.
5. Transplant rooted cuttings of muscadines in mist bed to pots when roots
long enough (tug test).
6. Continue making softwood cuttings of muscadines if needed, completing at
end of July.
7. Continue training vines up stakes and onto trellis wire, removing
unwanted growth (twice over vineyard in July).
ZSee item 6 in February
8. Irrigate when needed.
9. Mow row middles when needed.
1. Harvest muscadine fruit as needed and transport rapidly to
2. Spray after harvest once a month only, using both fungicide and
insecticide in tank.
3. Fertilize non-bearing vines.z
4. Spray Roundup or Paraquat for weed control if needed.
5. Mow row middles as needed.
6. Transplant rooted cuttings in mist bed to pots when adequately rooted
from tug test.
7. Irrigate when needed.
8. Rototill nursery as needed.
9. Train vines up stakes and onto trellis wire, removing unwanted growth
(once over vineyard in August).
1. Complete harvest of muscadine grapes.
2. Spray once a month with fungicide and insecticide thereafter.
3. Fertilize non-bearing vines.z Do not apply fertilizer after September
15 to allow proper hardening of vines for winter.
4. Apply Lorsban insecticide over ground surface to kill grape root borers.
Since only one application a year is approved, apply at optimum date for
your area (late September for Leesburg).
5. Use Roundup or Paraquat only as needed in rows for weed control.
Rototill and hoe in cutting nursery.
6. Mow row middles as needed.
7. Take soil samples for pH and soil fertility determinations (alternate
ZSee item 6 in February
1. Prepare for new plantings by applying dolomite (if needed), plowing, and
disking. Plowing is important to loosen deeper layers of soil even if
sod is not growing on the surface. Disking alone is too shallow to
2. Apply final fungicide and insecticide spray to help hold leaves from
premature defoliation, which weakens vines for next year.
3. Irrigate as needed in vineyard and nursery.
4. Mow row middles as needed.
5. Repair and clean equipment for future use, such as picking boxes,
pruning shears, and harvest shears.
1. Repair trellises as needed. Construct trellises in plowed areas to be
planted in January or February.
2. Install a lightning ground wire (galvanized 9 gauge) on a post every 90
ft along each trellis row and at each'end of the trellis. Be sure wire
extends 15" or more into ground.
3. Remove unwanted vines and cultivate the vacated area for replanting
during January or February.
4. Irrigate or mow as needed.
1. Broadcast dolomitic limestone to establish vineyard in order to bring
low pH up to pH 6.2, if needed. Do not lime if pH is 6.0 or higher.
Use sulfur dust instead of lime if pH is 7.3 or higher.
2. In late December, begin early dormant pruning of vines whose leaves have
fallen or turned yellow. Prune late-ripening bunch grapes and muscadine
grapes ahead of early ripening grapes.
3. Begin bare-root planting of young vines, where planned.
NOTE: The use of trade names in this publication is not a
guarantee or warranty of the products named nor does it
signify that they are approved to the exclusion of others
of similar composition. Read all labels of any pesticide
before application. THE LABEL IS THE LAW.
ZSee item 6 in February