Tropical Style

How to Care for Green Seedless Thompson Grape Plants

Like raising children, caring for “Thompson Seedless” grapes (Vitis vinifera “Thompson Seedless”) is most challenging in the early years even though you are receiving them started right. The species, Vitis vinifera, is also referred to as the European grape; it was developed by the ancient Romans in their quest to make delicious wine. Today, “Thompson Seedless” grapes are used for wine, as table grapes and raisins. They grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 though 9 and are propagated by cuttings. Even though they’re generally termed “green” grapes, “Thompson Seedless” are most delicious when they flip amber-golden from the autumn.

Water that the “Thompson Seedless” regularly during the first growing season; keep the soil moist as the roots grow and establish. During the subsequent decades, deep water the vines twice a month. Always water during extended hot, dry periods.

Prune the grapevine back in winter when it’s dormant; January through March is the perfect period. Cane-prune every “Thompson Seedless” plant by removing all canes other than the two to four most powerful new fruiting canes with a diameter of 3/8 into 5/8 inch. Generally, canes on the cover of the vine are exposed to light and will have more buds. Leave about 50 to 80 buds per plant. If late during the summertime that the vines appear too heavily hung with grape clusters, eliminate the poorer and smaller cluster to permit the rest of the clusters to grow.

Broadcast 1/4 pound of a balanced fertilizer in a circle 4 feet from the vine base when the buds swell in the spring, starting the second year. In subsequent decades, use 1 pound of fertilizer eight feet from the base. Insert organic compost around the trunk every year, ensuring that it doesn’t touch the vine.

See related