Grape Vines

Grapevine Help

Anonymous added on January 2, 2014 | Answered

The scenario is this: About three years ago, I transplanted a decent sized grapevine to my property (located in the low country area of SC). At the time, I thought it was a good idea to place my chicken run under what would become its canopy. The grapevine exploded with growth and is now as big as it was before I acquired it. However, I get no grapes. The last two years the vine has flowered, but within days the little clusters where the grapes should be developing are brittle to the touch and turn to dust. Several people told me this was due to the vine not having a mate (opposite vine) nearby. However, an old-timer visiting my neighbors asked me: "Is that your grapevine with the chickens under it?" "Yes sir, it is." He says, "It is lush and green in the summer, isn't it?" Again, "Yes sir, it is." He says, "But you don't get the first grape now do you?" "No sir, I don't. How did you know?" He says, "Cause you have those chickens under it." Since then I have done a litte internet surfing and believe I have too high of nitrogen content due to the chicken poop. I have moved the chickens. I plan to scrape down two inches or so of topsoil to the top of the grapevine roots and at least replace that topsoil with new topsoil or a mix of topsoil and sawdust. What can I do to rush my reduction in nitrogen so that I get grapes this year? Will my plan to replace part of the topsoil with a mix of new soil and sawdust help? What else can I do? I really want grapes this year. (Based on my reading, I have not ruled out the opposite sex vine thing being part of the problem, but the old-timer's information about the chickens was unsolicited and the people with him said he had 4 old grapevines on his homestead.)

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on January 2, 2014

While replacing the topsoil will help, you can also help offset the high nitrogen content by adding some phosphorus rich fertilizer or bone meal to the soil. This will also help encourage more blossoming/fruiting. Here is more information:

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