How And When To Pick And Store Muscadine Grapes

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This article provides helpful tips and instructions for harvesting and storing muscadine grapes
by Brett · Zone 5A · -20° to -15° F to Zone 11 · Above 40° F · Techniques & Methods · 0 Comments · October 14, 2013 · 9,421 views

Whether you're growing just a vine or two or many vines, harvesting muscadine grapes is pretty simple and straight forward. Harvest is as early as late July for some cultivars and extends to late September for others. If you select early. mid and late season varieties to plant in your garden you can extend the muscadine harvesting season.

How to Harvest Muscadines

Harvesting can be accomplished by selecting individual grapes or bunches of grapes by hand, or by shaking berries loose from a vine into tarps positioned beneath the vine, or by using mechanical harvesters that rake and shake the berries loose. Typically, at least two harvests are required to collect all the berries, but cultivars such as Fry or Welder may require up to 5 harvests.

Harvesting early or late in the day is a definite advantage in preserving fruit quality. For juice or wine grapes, maintaining fruit integrity is not a major issue if fruit will be crushed in a few hours.

On a small scale, homeowners or hobbyists may hand pick if they wish. But, as mentioned, the most feasible method on a moderate scale is to shake berries onto tarps. For large scale operations, mechanical harvesting is worthy of investigation.

Storing Muscadines

Muscadine grapes should be refrigerated after harvest, and can be stored with refrigeration for up to three weeks at 33°F. However, most fresh market cultivars have a shelf life of about 1 week. Relative humidity should be kept high. If you're selling muscadines, refrigeration can extend the marketing duration of muscadine grapes, although the first large-fruited muscadine grapes bring the highest price.




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