In the back of the yard of the house I’m in right now (we rented it a year ago), we have three grape vines. Last summer, towards the end, we noticed that they (the grapes) were all pretty and purple, and we were talking about picking them, but some deer got in the yard and ate them. So we were grapeless. There went my dreams of a Martha Stewart moment, canning jelly and all.

Well, last night, we were wandering around the back and noticed that they are producing MORE grapes - a whole bunch of them (if, in fact, that is what the tiny green little balls are that are growning in bunches on the vines).

Hopefully, this year, we are going to get them picked before the deer get at them, but we realized last night that we have no idea how to tell if they are ripe, or when they are actually ready to pick (so that you can use them in stuff like jelly). And if we pick them too early, will they continue to ripen (kind of like bananas do) so that they are useable?

Is there some universal way to tell when it’s time to pick grapes or to tell when they’re ripe?

When they taste good.

look here.

According to Gardening, the National Gardening Association’s manual for gardeners, grapes ripen only on the vine, so no, they won’t continue to ripen like bananas if you pick them too soon.

As for when to pick, like ATT said, “Harvest table grapes when the flavor is right.” Taste one.

Also, the book mentions that when you see bees and wasps hovering around them, they’re ready. :smiley:

To keep the deer away, now that they know the grapes are there, you may have to encase the entire grape arbor in chicken wire or something. Never underestimate a deer’s ability to ignore radios playing, bars of deodorant soap, etc.

The best deer repellent of all is a yappy, aggressive, medium-sized dog loose in the yard. But if the dog is tied up, so he can’t get at the deer, it won’t work. Hey, they’re not stupid.

Although you could tie the dog directly under the grape arbor.

Thank you everyone!

I just called SO and told him to go get some chicken wire and put it up. Hopefully, he will. Then again, he just today put up the screen door we bought last summer for the back door…well, maybe I’LL go do it.

On another note, DDG - we have a dog, but this dog is not the sharpest knife in the drawer - if you want her to chase something (say a squirrel, duck, deer, armed intruder, whatever) you have to yell “Go get it girl!!!” and point the exact OPPOSITE direction of wherever it is you want her to chase. You see something on the right side of the yard, look to the left and point and yell. Off to the right she’ll tear. What she does once she reaches whatever it is she’s supposed to be chasing, whether or not she will notice that it actually exists is another story.

We had a squirrel in our yard last night - 3’ up the telephone pole not 5’ from that dog. Dog was looking EVERYWHERE but at that squirrel - we were pointing and everything. Couldn’t see the darn thing just sitting right in front of her. She barked at the neighbors bushes - she growled at the frisbee, she even showed a bit of attention to a passing fire truck. But not that squirrel. Nope. It just sat there on the pole - swishing it’s tail.

Finally, it (squirrel) just wandered back across the lawn, I assume heading back to wherever his little squirrel friends were hanging out, most likely muttering squirrel for “you guys are not going to BELIEVE the moron that’s guarding that place”. Dog pretty much stood there looking at us going “WHAT???”

So, who wants jelly this fall?