|Two clusters were too close together. I thinned one of them; can't recall which.|
I've heard another voice of advice urging me to thin grape clusters from vines. The reasons for doing so are set forth succinctly in a Ohio State University Extension bulletin:
- Balance the amount of fruit with the growth of foliage.
- Assure that each shoot will be capable of maturing the fruit retained.
- Avoid allowing vines to overproduce and lose vigor.
I have encountered several rules of thumb for thinning. The one I have followed is:
- Remove any clusters on shoots of 8 inches or less.
- Allow one cluster on shoots up to 15 inches.
- Allow two clusters on longer shoots.
However, I became easily confused as to what constitutes a shoot. I understand a trunk and a cane, and anything running off a cane must be a shoot.
But what about sub-shoots running off of a shoot that's sturdy, almost woody in strength? I ran into a bunch of those and thinned to one cluster per sub-shoot. However, it's possible that I should have thinned the entire group of sub-shoots down to a couple of clusters total. Hard to say.
In any case, I thinned grudgingly and, it turns out, sparingly — but I did thin.