Basics of a Grapevine Trellis
I’m Lee Tyre with the Northampton County Cooperative Extension Service, and we’re going to talk about constructing grape vine trellises. A grape trellis is a structure that holds the vines off the ground, allowing sunlight in evenly, and making management and harvesting of the grapes easier. There are several different types of trellises. What we’ve constructed here today is a very simple one, what’s called a â€œhigh cordon grape trellisâ€�. The grapes we are training to the trellis today are an American type, and they prefer to grow downward. So.
What we’ve done, is we are going to train the cordons, the heavy limbs of the grape vine, along the top wire here, and as they grow, they’ll send laterals downward. And we’ll probably come in later and add a second wire, here below it. As you can see here, older, mature vines can become quite large, putting a good deal of strain on the trellis. Since we want these structures to last for a long time construction materials is an important consideration. You want to make sure you use materials that are resistant to decay, and can support the weight of mature vines.
Once you have selected your materials, it’s time to begin construction. When setting your end posts, make sure they are anchored well. With a short trellis, this could be a 4â€� by 4â€� post sunk 2 to 3 foot into a clay soil. With longer runs, or looser soils, setting the posts in concrete or additional bracing may be required. With a long enough run, even very large posts like this one require extra bracing to help support the load. Of course, the last main part of a trellis is the wire. Again, you want to select a heavy enough wire to support your vine for years.
To come. In addition to the wire, think about adding a device to allow you to adjust the tension on the wire easily. Wires will sag with time, and something like a fence line tensioner, a turnbuckle, or other devices, will allow you to quickly, and easily adjust the tension on your vine.
Pruning Grape Vines
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. Prune all the canes to spurs and then select the best 7 for each cordon. Ideally the spurs should be spaced about 6 inches apart. Don’t worry if they’re not, just strive for some nice spacing between the 7 spurs on each cordon. Even though this is a nice cane, it’s growing too far from the cordon, so I’m gonna snip it off. Tame your grapes and Grow Organic for Life!.