How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Harvesting and storing grapes

There are grape varieties available that ripen over the entire summer season beginning in mid-July through early October. It is important to harvest as soon as possible after the fruit reaches full maturity in order to avoid pest problems. Berries should be full size. They may or may not have full color to be ripe. Ripeness of table grapes is determined by the amount of sugar in the fruit and that varies from variety to variety. Color may be accentuated by removing the leaves around the cluster prior to harvest.

Another indication of ripeness is the development of the external cuticle layer in the skin. Since the cuticle of the fruit is easily subject to damage, handle carefully during harvest. Harvest by cutting the fruit cluster rather than pulling from the vine. Cool it rapidly after harvest. For longer term storage, keep at 32° F or below but don't allow grapes to freeze. Don't allow the berries to be wet before storing. Unripe grapes will not ripen in storage.

Grape cluster
Fruit cluster at harvest time

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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