UW-Extension A Resource For Growers

Newbie gardener, Mid-West Farm Report assistant Stephanie Hoff, is trying her hand at harvesting her red table grapes in her backyard. UW-Extension fruit specialist and UW-Madison horticulture professor Amaya Atucha (pictured) comes over to explain when to harvest the grapes and how. 

First, red grape growers need to watch for veraison — when the grapes start changing from green to red, Atucha says. This is the first indicator that the fruit are starting to ripen and accumulate sugar. She says growers should start sampling their fruit after veraison, and when the grapes are to their likeness, harvest them.

Another indicator that the grapes are ready to harvest is when the seeds turn from green to brown, in fruit with seeds.

When it comes to harvesting the grapes, Atucha says there’s no science to it — just snip the grape clusters off of the vine and refrigerate!

When the harvesting is done, Atucha says hold off on pruning until April in southern Wisconsin. She also gives tips on spraying herbicide and dealing with cold weather events.

If people are interested in growing their own grapes, Atucha recommends visiting UW-Extension’s website to find the right variety for their region: https://extension.wisc.edu/