Sunday, December 04, 2011
By Danie Wium
First things first: It is important to understand that a grape vine only produce grapes on one-year-old canes and spurs. Older parts of the vine will not produce grapes.
In other words, pruning a grape vine the incorrect way, or removing the incorrect wood from a grape vine, will result in lower yield and even total crop loss. This article on how to prune grapes, will show you some basic tips on how to prune a grape vine the correct way, to ensure your vines will produce enough grapes for you and your family to enjoy.
During the dormant season of the grape vine (normally winter), the shoots from the previous year's growth will become a dark brown color - we grape growers speak of the "ripening of the wood". Grape vines are pruned early spring, after the chances of frost damage is over. It is important to not prune grapes too early, as the pruning of the vine will stimulate new growth and if new shoots develop too early, the chances of frost damage is much higher. After you have looked at the history of frost occurrence in your area, you will have a good idea of when the right time to prune is.
Before you prune your vine, you should understand the difference between a spur pruning and cane pruning on grapes. Spur pruning is when you prune the cane back to 2 to 4 buds and cane pruning is when a cane is pruned of 8 to 12 buds long. This article covers the most widely used method of pruning grapes: spur pruning.
A spur that was pruned during the previous pruning season (last winter - while the grape vine was dormant) will develop new shoots from the 3 to 4 buds. These two shoots will be the bearers during this year's harvest.
If you understand what I am explaining to you, it will make sense that spur I this dormant season, will become an old spur next year, and during dormancy, after next year's growing season and so the process will go on and on. In other words a shoot that will develop for a spur pruned during dormancy, will become next year's spur.
The Grape Guy
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