Aims: The study was designed to evaluate and recommend most suitable training/trellis systems, canopy management practices and vine spacing for commercial muscadine grape varieties in Florida.
Methods and results: During 3rd growing season of 'Carlos' and 'Noble' muscadine grape cultivars biometrical data for “photosynthetic rate”, “vine balance”, “yield components”, “fruit composition” and “fruit ripening pattern ” were evaluated as a result of the vine spacing, and training/trellis system treatments. The mean values for the varieties indicated variation between “yield components”, “fruit ripening pattern” and “fruit composition” of single wire, double cordon (SWDC) and Munson T-cross arm, double cordon (MTDC) training/trellis systems. The training/trellis system and the leaf position had a statistically significant effect on photosynthetic active radiation (PAR) and photosynthetic rate for 'Noble' variety. Leaves adjacent to the cluster on a single wire presented higher PAR and photosynthesis rate at 1% level of significance. Leaves immediately downward to the cluster had also a superior photosynthesis rate (p ² 0.01) in the T- trellis/training system compared with the same class of leaves in our SW system.
Conclusion: Carlos and Noble muscadine varieties demonstrated significant variation between the photosynthetic rate, yield components, fruit ripening pattern and fruit composition of single wire, double cordon (SWDC) and Munson T-cross arm, double cordon (MTDC) training/trellis systems, with better performance of the divided canopy.
Significance and impact of study: The ongoing research will provide essential information to some of the fundamental questions on the use of training/trellis system and canopy management practices for hot climate grapes and will improve the viability and competitiveness of commercial grape growing in Florida and southeastern states.
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