Thought I share some pictures with you. Our growing season started a bit later than normal because of the abnormal cold & wet winter winter we had.

The early varieties has about 20 – 30cm (7 – 10 inches) of new growth so we will be securing the shoots to the trellis wire probably next week. Will keep you updated and show you some pictures how we do that.

Three inches of growth and already some bunches visible!

4 inches of growth
Removing suckers
During this time of the year, we mainly prepare the vineyards for flowering – a very important stage of growing a grape vine!
What we want to achieve BEFORE the vines go into flowering, is to reduce the number bunches on each grape vine. Why? During the process of flowering, the grape vine is under tremendous stress and could influence the growth of the grape vine. And if the grape vine’s growth is under stress, it will not have a enough vegetative growth when cell division starts (a few days after full bloom). Off course you want your grape vine to be in tip-top condition when this happens, because it will have a huge influence on the berry size.
One of the methods we use to reduce the number of grape clusters at this stage of growth is to remove suckers. No what on earth is a sucker?
If you look at the picture below, you will notice two shoots developed from the same bud on the cane – one on the side and one straight up.
We will keep the one that is growing straight up and remove the other shoot by hand (where the red line is). You can see the bunch on the shoot that we will keep (red arrow)
VERY IMPORTANT
  • Count the number of bunches on the grape vine, BEFORE you sucker. If you don’t have enough grapes on the vine, do not remove the suckers with grapes on
  • Don’t wait until the vine flowering to sucker – do it beforehand
  • Remove suckers ONLY if you have an established vine – 3 years and older (it will influence the amount of pruning wood you will need for a younger vine)
  • The earlier you do suckering, the more effective it will be. By removing the suckers at an early stage of growth, will improve the vines growth because more nutrients is available to the shoots you want to use on your vine.
  • The earlier you do suckering, the smaller the “wound” where the sucker was, will be.

OK that’s all for now …

Danie

http://www.my-grape-vine.com

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