Muscadines (Suppernongs) are the disease and insect resistant native grapes also known as 'Southern Grapes' or 'Scuppernongs'. Container grown Muscadines, which can be planted any time of year.
Planting A Muscadine or Scuppernong Vine
Muscadine vines are easy to grow. You can plant them to grow along the top of an existing fenceor arbor however, establishing a trellis system is the best way to go for easy pruning.
The trellis system is quite simple:
- Attach a single No.9 wire 5 feet above the ground attached to the top of two pressure treated support posts spaced 10' to 20' apart. The posts should be no less than 4" in diameter. Make sure wire is attached securely to post and is drawn as tight as is possible.
- After setting your posts and attaching the wire, plant the vine in the center of the posts, using a bamboo or wooden stake to support the vine. Tie vine to stake using soft ties that will not scar the bark.
Pruning Your Muscadine or Scuppernong Vine
When to Prune
Prune any time after the plant has entered dormancy.
First Growing Season: If your new vine has several shoots (trunks) cut off all but one and train this to form a single trunk, securing it with the wooden or bamboo stake. Remove all lateral branches on this trunk. When the vine grows beyond the wire cut it off at 3" above wire. Several canes (branches) will grow just beneath the cut. Allow 2 of these canes to follow the wire in either direction. Let grow naturally and leave vine as is during first winter.
Second Winter: Cut back canes growing from the 2 main lateral stems to 2 or 3 buds as shown in the diagram below.
Therafter: Prune the plants each winter so that all new growth is reduced to two or three new buds. This will keep the vine in check and force better fruit production.
- Keep the wood pruned off the top of the vine.
- After four or five years, remove some of the fruiting branches to force new wood.
- Use sheers to remove grape clusters to keep the bark from peeling back and scarring the vine.
- Prune heavily at the top of the trunk to prevent excessive growth there.
- Keep area around the base of the trunk weed free with a 2-3" layer of mulch.