Bird-attracting grape causes hot tub woes

Question: I bought a house last December that has two large grape vines growing over a pergola that covers a hot tub. Last summer when the vines were producing grapes, the birds were unbearable. I know I could cover the whole thing to keep the birds out, but it would ruin the aesthetic and make access to the hot tub difficult. Is there something I can do to keep the beauty of the vine without it producing any grapes?

Yes, you can. It is a fairly easy solution. In the winter months, prune out all the new growth.

You can see it because it is a different color than the grayer, older growth.

Grapes flower only on the wood that grew last year.

It should be flowering now or very soon. As you see these flower clusters on the vine, pull them off.

Bob Morris is a professor emeritus in horticulture with the University of Nevada and can be reached at Visit his blog at For more gardening advice, see the Home section of Thursday’s Las Vegas Review-Journal.

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