How To Plant Wine Grape Vines

By | January 23, 2017

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.

Pruning grape vines in Minnesota


gt;gt;TOM VAN DER LINDEN: It’s spring in Minnesota, a great time to prune grape vines. Proper pruning of grape vines means better grapes. And better grapes mean better wine. We’ll cover basic pruning for a northern climate. For details on how to prune for your climate, check with your state university extension. Year one, we take the initial shoot and we train it into a trunk. Year two, we pick two.

Healthy shoots and we train them to our trellis. we’ll take the two healthiest shoots and train them on the trellis to form a cordon. We’ll prune off the other shoots leaving just the trunk and the cordons. To review quickly, our first shoot we train into a trunk in year one, then in year two we take our two best shoots and we train them to the trellis to make cordons. Year three, the trunk of our vine is gaining strength and circumference. We have cordons that are now trained to a trellis and off each cordon we have new shoots.

Toast yourself, you’ve learned three new terms. we have trunk, cordon and shoot. now we’ll learn three new terms, and then we’ll move on. The top of a trunk where it stops is called the head of the vine, and this vineyard for this particular grape the head is about four feet off the ground. You’ll see vineyards where the head is higher or lower depending on the use of the grape, the kind of trellis they’re using. So it’ll be okay to have different heights.

In spring, a new green shoot grows from our cordon. and now after the leaves have fallen in the fall, the shoot becomes a cane. For spring pruning, we’re going to take last year’s cane, and when we clip it again, it will become a spur. Working on a little older vine, here’s the head and the nice, thick trunk. We have a cane, and then a spur, and then a cane, and then a spur. Don’t worry, you’ll soon get the hang of it.

Taking a closeup look, we have the cordon here, and we have a shoot from last year coming off and we need to shorten the shoot now in spring to make a spur. so that we can control our fruit load. Let’s count buds: we have a bud here, we have a bud here, we have a bud here, and we have a bud here, and so forth. On some varieties, this bud close to the cordon is not fruitful so we won’t count those buds. We’ll count first a bud here and a bud here and make our cut out here. In other varieties we will need to count this bud as one, two,.

And we’ll make our cut here. whatever you do, you’ll want to keep good records so when you go back into your vineyard you can see how the fruit responded to your pruning. So let’s count the buds on this cane. We have one, two, three buds, and we’re looking for two. So we have one bud, two buds, and we clip there. We need to prune this vine to control both the fruit load and the sun exposure. It’s important in a northern climate to get good sun exposure on your grapes so that they ripen.

Fully. this is a frontenac vine that’s growing and the cordons are growing along the upper trellis wire. So let’s estimate the fruit load on this particular vine. We have seven fruiting spurs on each cordon, and each spur has two buds. Now each bud will produce two clusters of grapes. We can look up the grape variety we’re growing and we can find out what an average cluster will weigh. In this case, they will weigh about four ounces. First, simply convert pounds of grapes to ounces. Next, divide number of ounces by the number.

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