Muscadine Grapes Page: 6
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FARMERS' BULLETIN 1785
One means of furthering the rooting of cuttings is to graft a small
piece of young muscadine root on the basal end of the cutting and
then treat such grafts as if they were cuttings. In this manner 86
percent of the Thomas and 20 percent of the Scuppernong cuttings
were rooted in a normal season. Expert propagators with greenhouse
facilities can root muscadine grape cuttings with relative ease on a
greenhouse bench with bottom heat and regularly maintained proper
moisture and soil temperature.
Layering is the method practiced most commonly by grape growers
and nurserymen in propagating muscadine grapes. By this method
the greatest number of plants are produced with the least expense.
Canes can be layered at any season of the year, but midsummer is the
most favorable time. For midsummer layering, canes of the same
season's growth are bent down to the ground and covered with earth,
the growing tips being allowed to project above the soil. Roots form
by fall, and the layers can then be cut from the parent vine, giving at
least one new plant for each shoot layered. If a large branch has been
layered in the fall or spring, it generally develops shoots from a num-
ber of nodes or buds. Roots develop on each of these shoot bases;
these can be cut apart during the dormant season and thus several
plants are obtained from each long cane laid down. When such large
branches or canes are used, they are pegged down in trenches in the
spring but are not covered with soil until after shoot growth starts
from the various buds. After shoot growth has started, soil is filled
in over the mother cane and about the shoot bases, leaving all shoot
tips exposed. The rooted layers are generally left undisturbed until
the following winter, when they are taken up and planted in new
When nurserymen grow muscadine especially for layering, the vines
are not trellised but grow along the surface of the ground. In July
or August the current-season shoots are covered with soil, leaving
the tips exposed. Each shoot so covered will form roots and can be
cut away from the parent plant during the following winter. In
cutting away the rooted shoots, spurs are left which again form shoots
suitable for layering the following season.
Muscadine grapes are seldom grafted, because the wood of the
muscadine is very hard and the unions formed are usually poor.
However, the grafting 1 of a cutting on a more readily rooting stock
may assist a muscadine grape scion to put out its own roots.
Muscadine grapes can be grown on almost any of the tillable soils
of their natural habitat, but not with equal success; they do not thrive
1 Methods of grafting are described in Farmers' Bulletin 471, Grape Propa-
gation, Pruning, and Training. This bulletin is out of print, but may be con-
sulted in libraries. -
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Dearing, Charles. Muscadine Grapes, pamphlet, 1947; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97265/m1/8/: accessed October 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.