Q and A: pruning grapes, heating canned foods, and canning Velveeta cheese — 2 Comments

  1. Brenda, your Mom may have given you that advice to cut your grapes down to the ground or almost because she is from or has gardened in the south. The native muscadine AKA scuppernong grape often puts up multiple shoots which should be cut down, but leaving one main stem as with other grapes. She may be remembering the cutting but not the main stem. You want one main grape stem (and one low bud and stem in case it dies) with spaced out side branches, spacing depending on the vertical spacing of your grape trellis or arbor. For best production and biggest grapes, you prune those side branches back but as Jackie said, you don’t absolutely have to do that. Think of all the native US grapes which grew on the east coast for centuries (including Concords) with no pruning. The fruit may have been small, but there was fruit. There are lots of good, easy to understand short articles on the Internet about pruning grapes but as with all pruning, you can use your pruning shears to shape your grape vine to whatever suits your needs. If you cut your grapes down to the ground each year you won’t have any fruit, as you found out. Grapes produce fruit on one year old wood. Prune in the spring, whenever that is where your vines are.

  2. For the persistent honeysuckle another option is a picking up some “stump killer.” There are several brands, get what your local hardware store carries. Roundup will do it, but we found stump killer did it faster (I think 1 application was all it took) and we didn’t have to think about Monsanto every time we came across the container.