Essential Grape Vine Pruning Tips
The moment you’re done planting your vineyard in the best favorable area, the next step that you will need to take into great consideration is the correct pruning. Proper grape vine pruning is vital especially if you aim to grow the best grapes possible.
Pruning is a continuing task. While your vineyard exists, you have to continue pruning. And it is important in taking the full advantage of the quality and production of your grape fruits.
Reasons for Grapevine Pruning
There are reasons behind grape vine pruning. One of which is for the proper maintenance of the shape, size and output of the grapevines. Second, young grapevines are usually pruned to initiate the proper shaping down the trellis. And third, the moment your vines are in grape making, they must be pruned to achieve good quality grapes.
Grapevines will generate bunches of fruits depending on its growth last year. Older vines will no longer generate grape therefore they must be eliminated particularly if it is not a part of the primary trunk or arms. Grapevines that are 3 years or older will generate two hundred or more shoots which will later on develop into fruits. If all of these are all that’s left on the grapevines, they will never ripe and will never sustain the enough growth for the production of the following years.
Pruning Young Grapevines
On the first growing period, let the grapevine grow without pruning. The objective of this is to create a sturdy root system that will keep firm growth in the coming years. Profuse growth of the stems and leaves will give energy for the growth of the roots. During early spring or winter, you should choose a sturdy shoot as the main trunk of your grapevine. Tie it to your grape trellis using a string. You should now eliminate all the extra stems to promote growth for your main trunk.
On your second year, your aim is to create the best side buds and guide them down the trellis. Then, you must remove all except for you two strongest buds in late spring. This is to make sure that all the growing energy is prioritized on their growth. Secure the buds to the trellis for you to come up with a “T” shaped vine. During the mid of summer, you must begin growing your second “T” for your vines to be able to climb higher on your trellis. This time, you have to prune the area above your trunk, just near your first “T”. This will promote trunk’s growth and let it develop over the wire.
On late summer, choose the strongest buds above the wire and guide them down the trellis. During the second winter and on the next season prune all other growth that is not basically part of your main trunk. On the third winter, you are ready for your first production year.
Yearly Grape Vine Pruning
Now your vines are already giving you production every year, you must prune them early spring or every winter. On these seasons your vines are inactive. Your goal is to eliminate the canes that already produced fruits as they won’t be able to produce fruit again. Moreover, you must also eliminate several buds so you will not produce grapes than the wine making industry can support.
Kim Drew is a grape vine growing and wine making enthusiast. She owns and maintains Grapevine Growing Tips, a resource for those wanting to learn more about grape vine pruning.
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