Pruning Grapes

A Complete Guide to Pruning Grapes

Pruning grapes can be a relatively easy experience if you know how to complete this task.  There are numerous things to remember when you begin this process but it should not make you afraid to take care of your grapes.  You will no longer feel overwhelmed about doing this once you read this article.  It will explain, simply, how to prune your grapes.

In order to begin pruning grapes you need to remember that buds from last year will eventually grow new this year.  That is why it is very important to prune your grapes.  When you do this you are going to be controlling three things.  The size of your grapevine, the potential of your grapevine and you are going to be maintaining a balance between the fruit and the growth.

You will begin by cutting last years canes, the ones that are a year old, down to where there are only two or three buds.  You want to leave one or two of the best canes and cut the rest of them.  You are going to prune in the second year in the midsummer and you are going to want to do this by using bypass pruners and cutting the top of the trunk.  This helps to ensure that any new growing will take place on the main trunk.  The outcome you are looking for is to have the trunk and one or two side branches.  You will do the same thing during the third spring and summer.  However, in the third winter you are going to let twelve arms grow off of each of the two branches.  These twelve branches are going to produce your grapes in the fourth year.

Keep in mind that you are not going to get any grapes from your plant the first year.  You also need to remember that you can relax when you are pruning grapes.  Because you prune your plant each year you can fix mistakes the following year if you need to.  It is important to complete this task when they vines are not producing any fruit.  The prime time to do this is between the months of January and March first.  The most important thing to keep in mind is that many people do not prune the grapes enough and they leave too much on the vines.  You want to take off approximately 90 percent of the growth from the year before.

I am sure that by now you have noticed that pruning grapes can be difficult to understand and frustrating if you have never done it before.  However, with the World Wide Web available to everyone you can also find information online to help you learn what you are doing.  You can also read books that may provide illustrations.  You most likely did not decide to plant grapes without having some type of understanding of how the process works.  Relax and remember that it just takes time.  You may even be able to contact a nursery and ask an employee what they would recommend to ensure you doing it correctly.  If you visit a farmers market you may be able to ask for assistance there as well.  Finally, look for a college or a university in your area that may offer a course in wine making or gardening.  This could be a great place to find out how pruning grapes is done correctly.  You will never learn if you do not try.  Actually, you have to try if you want your grapes to grow and thrive so that you can enjoy them.  We all know that there are several things you can do with this beautiful fruit.  If you are going to grow them you should at least take the time to do it properly.