Muscat grapes are among the oldest grape varieties, according to Uncork.com. In fact, these low-growing grapes were grown by ancient Greeks. Pruning your muscatel grapes is important to remove damaged or diseased areas that can reduce your plant's yield. The best time to prune is when the grape vine has gone dormant for the season or any time between January and March.
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Things you need
- Denatured alcohol
- Spray bottle
- Bypass shears
Pour 30 per cent water and 70 per cent denatured alcohol into a spray bottle. Spray your bypass shears to sterilise. Also, spray the pruning tool in between cuts to prevent spreading harmful pathogens or fungal disease.
Prune off any canes that are more than 1 year old, because they will not produce fruit. Muscat grape vines only grow fruit on 1-year-old canes. Make 45-degree downward cuts when removing canes.
Cut off any areas that look diseased. Powdery mildew, downy mildew and black rot are common fungal diseases that infect muscatel grapes. Look for leaf discolouration, spotted leaves or cane dieback.
Remove enough buds, so that you have 20 to 30 per cane. By keeping 20 to 30 buds on a muscatel grape cane, the plant can focus its efforts on growing and ripening grapes without being overwhelmed by too many.
Retie the canes after pruning. Use a string, but do not tie the vines too tight or you can cause stunted growth.
Tips and warnings
- Keep canes that are 3/8 to 5/8 inch in diameter and remove everything else to encourage healthy growth.
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