I have several table grapes and muscadine vines that I want to plant on the edge of an oak Woodland. I am going to let them grow up naturally into the oak trees. Should I prune them back to just one vine like is done in on a trellis setting or should I let sprout as many vines as they want? I want some production from them but I am not concerned with just production. I need to get these in the ground but my trellis is not ready so I will propagate from these and the birds and squirrels like them. What say you?
You might have better luck if each plant has its own territory for its rootball, i.e., separate them by a couple feet or so. It seems to me that the ones that can take off and climb through the trees 30 feet and more don't have to share their point of origin with siblings. On the other hand, if you do have a thicket of seeds that has come up, the plants seems stunted since they are in competition for nutrients.
I moved some muscadines to the split rail fence on the back of the property a couple years ago, spaced them at each post (8' apart), and they are spreading out quite well.
Take your cues from the Professional Vinters, they plant around 6 to 8 feet apart and allow three years of vine production before they expect any harvest at all.
The reason for this is to get the root system well established and have a central "stem" from which there will be fruiting shoots each year.
They also prune back to the central stem at the end of each year since it is only new growth that puts off grapes.
When you plant either you want to dig a big hole, use the mound in the center technique so you can spread the roots out and down into the soil, use a good root stimulant to water them in with and make sure the soil is tamped but not tightly packed down.
I use a vitamin B-12/ multi-mineral solution to water in new grape vines, this gives them a good start on growing good roots.
I currently have around 25 muscadine vines, most of their central stems are in the 2 to 3 inch diameter range now and these put off around 20 clusters per main stem every year.
Some of these are using trees for their trellises, others are on conventional vineyard trellises.
All grapes produce best when they are in full sun. On our land there are several muscadine vines that are in mostly shade, they grow towards the sun and only the tops (in full sun) produce any grapes.
My table grapes are heading into their second year and have been pruned back to one leader which will become the central stem at the end of this, their second year in the ground.
I already have my trellises in place so I can train my central stems. I have two Professional Vinters that are helping me get the best grape production possible.