previous
  • Building Better Borders
    Building Better Borders
  • Plant Finder: Spring Plants
    Plant Finder: Spring Plants
  • Seed Starting in Speedling Trays
    Seed Starting in Speedling Trays
  • Pantone Color of the Year 2014: Radiant Orchid
    Pantone Color of the Year 2014: Radiant Orchid
  • How to Grow Mustard
    How to Grow Mustard
  • Get your FREE Everyday Roses download now!
    Get your FREE Everyday Roses download now!
  • Planting the Right Way
    Planting the Right Way
  • 10 Seed-Starting Tips
    10 Seed-Starting Tips
  • Pick Plants for Fragrance
    Pick Plants for Fragrance
  • 10 Combinations for Shade
    10 Combinations for Shade
  • Using Containers as Elements of a Design
    Using Containers as Elements of a Design
  • Rex Begonias
    Rex Begonias
  • DIY A-Frame Veggie Trellis
    DIY A-Frame Veggie Trellis
  • Bold and Beautiful Zinnias
    Bold and Beautiful Zinnias
  • Black Plants Done Right
    Black Plants Done Right
  • NEW Video Series: There's a Better Way
    NEW Video Series: There's a Better Way
  • Homegrown / Homemade
    Homegrown / Homemade
  • 20 Gardenworthy Self-Sowers
    20 Gardenworthy Self-Sowers
  • Garden Design Basics
    Garden Design Basics
  • Go Green on the Patio
    Go Green on the Patio
  • 3 Ways to Design with Containers
    3 Ways to Design with Containers
  • Indoor Seed Starting Materials List
    Indoor Seed Starting Materials List
next

Eco-friendly Ways to Control Black Rot on a Grape Plant

comments (3) January 9th, 2014 in blogs
Susan_Jensen_Smith Susan Jensen Smith, Administrator
2 users recommend


Sometimes we get really good questions via Facebook. 

Jessica has a problem with black rot on a grape plant, and is looking for a home remedy as she would like to avoid chemicals if possible.

We reached out to Emily Tepe from the University of Minnesota Department of Horticultural Science, and author of The Edible Landscape, to help Jessica solve the problem.

Her advice:

The best thing you can do to control black rot on grapes doesn't involve chemicals at all.

The first, and most effective practice, is good sanitation. As soon as you see any sign of black rot on any part of the plant, get it out of there. Clean up any berries, leaves, and pruning's from under the vine and keep it spotless and weed-free all year. The fungus overwinters in this kind of debris and will wreak havoc as soon as spring rains come.

This leads me to tactic number two: good air circulation. Black rot spores love moisture, so you want to reduce the amount of moisture held in the canopy by providing great air circulation. During dormancy, prune heavily keeping only a few healthy, strong canes from last year's growth. Prune out any diseased parts of the vine too. Keep the vine tied up to a trellis to allow air to flow through. 

Another good practice is cultivating the soil under the vine shortly before bud-break in the spring. This can bury spores, thus preventing them from reaching the plant. This has proven quite successful for many growers. 

As far as home remedies go, I've never tried any on grapes. You could certainly try them, but here's a thought: Most home remedies involve a water-based solution being sprayed on the plant. This doesn't sound too good to me, considering how much this fungus likes moisture. 

Chemical sprays are effective, but have to be applied numerous times throughout the season at very specific intervals. Every inch of the plant has to be covered to be effective. That's a lot of work and a lot of exposure to some nasty stuff. I suggest diligently following a good sanitation, pruning, and air circulation routine. That usually does the trick.

Good luck Jessica, and anyone else who has this problem!

Join the conversation on our Facebook page!



posted in: black rot, grape plant, home remedies

Comments (3)

chopperwife writes: I live in a high humidity area, so black rot is a problem no matter how clean, and well ventilated. Thank you for the tips, and thank you for the powdered milk tip, I am going to try that! Posted: 5:41 pm on January 9th
Susan_Jensen_Smith writes: Hi Yolanda - thanks for the tip! I've never used whole powdered milk in that way! Posted: 1:35 pm on January 9th
YolandaVanveen writes: Thanks Susan for the tips! You mentioned, "As far as home remedies go, I've never tried any on grapes. You could certainly try them, but here's a thought: Most home remedies involve a water-based solution being sprayed on the plant. This doesn't sound too good to me, considering how much this fungus likes moisture." That is why whole powdered milk has worked so well for me as a natural solution on all mold and rot problems in the garden. I dry out the beds really well (if in the summer) thin out the leaves 1/3 and sprinkle with powdered milk and no have had no problems. Hope that helps! Yolanda Posted: 1:04 pm on January 9th
You must be logged in to post comments. Log in.