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When to Harvest Grapes

This is our first time growing grapes – they came with the house.  How do I know when they are ready to pick?

Taste is the best measure of ripeness and don’t worry, the birds will be sure to tell you if you waited too long. In fact, you may want to cover the arbor with netting or the developing fruit clusters with brown bags to protect your harvest from the birds.  But don’t rush the process.  Unlike other fruit, grapes do not continue to ripen once they are plucked from the vine.  Color is the first indication that the fruit is entering its ripening stage.  It will change from green to purple, red or light green.  Watch for a natural bloom (whitish coat) to become more evident as the fruit ripen.  Then taste a grape and check inside for a look at the seeds.  When the flavor is right, the berries are less firm to the touch, and the seeds have turned from green to brown the fruit are ready to pick.   


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