This current growing season has been as extreme as I can remember in years past. As cold as we were this winter, we have been just as hot this summer. Our excessive heat began in early May and lasted until the 3rd week in June before we received any kind of break in the temperatures. We had 26 straight days of 90 + temperatures, weather we normally do not see until mid July through August. So what does this mean for muscadines? The ideal weather for muscadines in the bloom period is warm days and some what dry, when temperatures are cooler, excessive cloud cover, or rainy days the pollen does not transfer as well from bloom to bloom. This year we went to the extreme of excessive dry weather with exceptional heat, so these conditions leads to blooms drying up on the vine before pollination occurs thus leading to below average or poor fruit set. Unfortunately even with drip irrigation when weather conditions are this severe there is not a lot one can do to prevent the blooms from burning up or the lack of pollination.
On vines that are 4 years old and older the water requirements during the year go up as the the temperatures go up.
In April 8-10 gallons per week, May and June 12-18 gallons per week, July and August 18-26 gallons per week, September 12-18 gallons per week, October 8-10 gallons per week, November (if warm and dry) 6-8 gallons of water.
We would like to hear how your grape crop is this year.