How to Care for Backyard Grapevines

I have three grapevines in the backyard. One is green, and two are red. Both fruited early this year and were eaten by raccoons. Lately, the leaves have started to turn color and fall, but all of a sudden, I’m getting new growth and tons of new fruit clusters! What’s up with my dormant yet fruiting grapes? Should I wait to prune them or give them therapy? —Vine-Time Spencer, Santa Barbara

The Gardenator says don’t worry because “no tiene mucho trabajo la uva,” which means that grapes just don’t need a lot of work. He says that the unexpected growth is because of the excessive heat. The following is quick guide for your uvas.

1) “Dejales crecer las frutas.” (Let the fruits grow.)

2) “Cubrelas con alambre chico para que no se les c* los animales.” (Cover your fruited grapes with small wire mesh, so the animals don’t mess with you.)

3) “Sigue les regando.” (Keep watering like you normally would.)

4) “Podelas en enero o febrero.” (Prune in January or early February.)

And like that, your grapevines should be back to normal. Happy eating!

Gustavo Uribe is a fifth-generation agricultural specialist who has worked as a professional gardener in Santa Barbara for more than 30 years. His son, Gustavo, Jr., writes this column. Send your gardening questions to

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