Pre-veraison Canopy Management and Fruit Thinning in Grapes – Facts for Fancy Fruit

Pre-veraison Canopy Management and Fruit Thinning in Grapes

Veraison, the start of the fruit ripening process, signals the final opportunity for effective canopy management and fruit thinning in grapes. Once veraison has started, thinning and canopy management are far less effective in improving overall fruit quality. Growers should assess the need for fruit thinning by evaluating cluster number and size relative to shoot length. Short shoots should be de-fruited to eliminate inferior quality fruit. Second crop (summer) clusters should be removed as they will not ripen with the rest of the crop. Canopy management might consist of removal of laterals in the fruiting zone, tipping excessively long shoots, and leaf removal to increase sunlight exposure to the fruiting zone. At this time of the year, pressure from fruit rots is minimal but scouting should continue for leaf diseases downy and powdery mildew.

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