Hi, i’m tricia, an organic gardener. If you want bunches of grapes on your grapevines this summer, then you need to do your winter pruning. I’ll show you how! There are two types of pruning: cane and spur pruning. And both of them should be done late in the season, between January and March.
We’re gonna start with cane pruning, because all table grapes will be productive with that method. For cane pruning, I’m gonna choose one to two canes from last year’s growth on each side of the vine and I’m going to cut the rest! You can tell the age of a cane by its bark. 1yearold canes have smooth bark, older canes have shaggy bark.
When choosing which canes to keep, you’re gonna choose a cane that’s coming off very close to the trunk, as compared to one that’s coming off of a branch, like this. The canes that you keep should have about 15 buds along the length of the cane. And they should be close to the top of the vine. Don’t choose canes that are too thin or too thick. Choose them when they’re about pencil size.
I’m gonna tag the canes that i’m gonna keep with this ribbon, and i’m going to cut the rest. I want to make sure and not cut a good cane. These are the 2 fruiting canes that I’m going to keep. For every fruiting cane that I keep, I’m going to cut another cane into a renewal spur. A renewal spur is a cane cut to 2 buds and these buds are going to create next year’s fruiting canes. If your cut starts to bleed, don’t worry, that’s normal. It won’t hurt the vine.
After seeing how this vine is shaping up, i don’t think i need this cane after all. So you’re gonna cut your fruiting cane back to about 15 buds. And if you have any lateral branches coming off this cane, that’s the time you would cut them. For grape vines growing on arbors, the first thing you’re gonna do is cut off any suckers that are coming off the main vine or cordon. And then you just want to cane prune.
You want to keep one cane and one renewal spur for every 1 2 feet of cordon. This grapevine has been neglected and hasn’t been pruned in a couple of years. So, before I actually start the spur pruning, I’m going to clean it up. Typically, spur prune varieties are trained to a bilateral cordon, which are these thick branches on either side of the trunk. These cordons can be pruned to length, but they’re never pruned all the way off, back to the trunk.
Mine are maintained at about 3.5 feet. A spur is last year’s growth, cut back to 2 buds. Ideally, you’re gonna want 7 spurs on each cordon. And on this cordon, I’ll probably get close. On the other cordons, I’ll have to wait until next year because this vine was neglected. The canes that make the best spurs are the ones that are going upward, close to the cordon.
Caring for Young Grape Vines
My name is david handley, i’m with the university of maine cooperative extension, and we’re here to talk about how to prune and train a young grapevine. This is a vine that was planted last spring. We got it from a dormant plant, or rooted cutting, and you can see the original part of the planting right here. This is what we got from the nursery, with a good root system under it. We planted it, and we had a bud break and some vine growth. This is last year’s growth right here. This was a green shoot. Typically, you may get.
More than one shoot developing. you may have several buds on here. we want to prune this back to one strong vine, your strongest one. We’re going to arrange for that to be tied up to a trellis, because this particular vine is what’s going to become our permanent trunk, or the permanent part of the plant that’s going to be with us for the life of the planting. We want to make sure it’s the strongest of the vines that we can choose from. Any other one that developed that’s very weak, we can just cut that out, select our best one.
The time of year to make these cuts are when the canes are dormant, and this is going to be really any time after the new year, until they bud out in late March, early April. We hope in the first year that we get enough good growth that we can tie it to the lower trellis wire. Typically here in Maine, we’re going to be pruning to either a four arm kniffin training system, or an umbrella kniffin training system. Those trellises consist of two wires, one set at about two and a half feet, and a second.
Wire set at about five feet. we hope in the first year that we’re going to get enough good growth to reach at least the bottom wire, but in order to make sure it’s growing straight, you can see we supported this with a small bamboo pole. Any kind of planting stake will work, and we just tie that vine up as it grows, rather than let it grow along the ground where it can get rot problems, and not develop a nice straight growth like we want. We tie it up, just like you’d tie up a beef steak tomato, get the.
Growth that you want. as i said, we’ve got pretty good buds here, reaching up to the first wire. You can see that I actually make it to the top wire, but you can see the growth up here is very scrawny and spindly, and isn’t really going to lead to a good, strong trunk. I’d rather actually start new growth for reaching to this top wire for next year. What that means is that I’m actually going to cut this off here, rather low, to try to get this bud here to break and give me a much.
Stronger shoot to develop my trunk to the top wire next year. i can just take that there, and then, instead of using the bamboo pole this year, I can just tie it to the wire. This bud will hopefully break, and give me a good, strong shoot, that I’m going to reach the second wire next year. Of course, these buds lower down will also break, and if this one happens to be weak, I may select one of these. But, if this bud does turn out to be a strong shoot, I’ll be cutting these off next winter and getting my single trunk back.
Up to the top wire. next year, when this does reach the top wire, eventually what we’ll be doing is taking one year old cane, and either draping it over this top wire and connecting it to the bottom wire in an umbrella kniffin, or we’ll be taking one cane at the top wire on each side, and one cane at the bottom wire on each side, to create four arms of one year old growth, for a four\uc0\u8209 arm kniffin system. Both systems work pretty well for concrete type grapes here in a cold climate like Maine.