How to take care of Concorde grapes
The Concord grape, which is hardy and versatile, is one of the most popular grapes to grow in U.S. gardens. You can eat them fresh off the vines or make jelly jam or wine with them, and they are used commercially to make grape juice. They are more resistant to cold North American weather and more resistant to disease than other varieties.
Cover your vines generously each spring and keep them free of weeds.
Grape juice grapes infrequeally, but heavy, since they have a deep root system. Do not use water when the soil is moist, but when it starts to dry.
Cut the vines back in the first year to two or three strong buds, each of which will grow into a cane. Many shoots, leaves and plenty of leaves will grow, which will encourage the vine to develop a strong root system. In the second year, remove all but two of the strong cans from each vine and allow three to four shoots to grow from each.
Tie a cane to a four or five-foot-tall stake in the first year. You’ll need to build a mesh frame to support them next year, as grape vines don’t stand up well on themselves and tend to be diseased when they grow on the ground. The simplest mesh frame, according to the University of Minnesota (see reference), is the Kniffen system: set a post in the ground on either side of the vine, between 16 and 24 feet apart. First should be 36 inches above the ground and the second 60 inches support vine by giving it a link to the stake, then a line as it grows.
Remove the flowers when they form for the first two years – the grapes are not strong enough to bear fruit. You can also thin the vine by removing some of the flower groups the following year.
Riddled during the season, the dormant began in the third year. Pruning prevents the vine from becoming too dense and also allows you to control the amount of grapes. When too many grapes develop, they are small and not ripe. When the twig reaches the wire of the mesh frame, remove or cut it back into two eyes.
Concorde grapes are ready for harvest time between Labor Day and the first frost. When you think they’re ready, If they are sweet and flavorful and not tart or sour, the grapes are ready to choose.