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Re: [nafex] Sour Grapes, Sweet Corn

Rather than cut the vines, which can stimulate new vegetative growth that
you don't want to have at this time of year, do some leaf pulling - pick off
leaves just around the fruit clusters to let more light to them.  This
doesn't really help them sweeten any more, but it can help them dry off
after rain to reduce the likelyhood of disease.
-Lon Rombough
>From: Don Yellman <dyellman@earthlink.net>
>To: nafex@egroups.com
>Subject: [nafex] Sour Grapes, Sweet Corn
>Date: Thu, Aug 10, 2000, 12:41 AM

>   This is not an expert opinion.  Just a regular opinion.  I am up in
>N. Virginia, so our conditions are not identical, but we have also had
>unusually regular summer rains this season, coupled with lower than
>normal temperatures --- though not dramatically lower.  You have
>probably had even more rain down in tidewater.
>   We have only one Concord vine, but depend on it to make our best
>(yes, better than blackberry) annual jelly.  Mine must be somewhat
>behind yours, since they are just starting to turn color now, but I have
>had no unusual rots or fruit drops in spite of the rain.  There are
>always a few grapes that start to look a little funny, and I pick them
>off as they appear.  I don't spray them with anything.  They look a
>litle larger this year than normal, but I won't know anything about
>their flavor until the end of August.
>   What I do is to give the vine 2-3 little haircuts with the pruning
>shears beginning in mid-June to allow some sun in on the fruit.  The
>vine is extremely vigorous anyway, and the pruning does not appear to
>affect its overall health, nor to impact negatively on the size and
>quantity of fruit.  (Of course, I also winter prune the vine severely
>every year.)  My theory, unsupported by scientific or expert opinion, is
>that grapes, like many other fruits, accumulate more sugars when they
>are kissed by sunshine, and it does help them to dry out quicker after a
>rain.  I usually expect to nearly fill one 5-gallon bucket from this
>vine, but that is enough for about 2 dozen pints of jelly.
>   My sweet corn is zooming along this year too, thanks to all the
>rain.  The plants are over one foot taller than normal, and some have 3
>ears, which I have never seen before.  Of course the plants are pretty
>well spaced out and hilled, which encourages ear formation.  I'm growing
>the same variety (Argent) that I grew last year, so it's a very fair
>comparison.  But it went in late, after the peas, and won't be ready for
>another two weeks.
>   If your Concords are not dead ripe yet, maybe you could still catch a
>little sunshine by trimming back the vines now.
>Rgds, Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

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