Pruning a never before pruned grape vine.
For those of you who has a grape vine that has never been pruned before or that was pruned the wrong way; this post will help you allot.
Look at Leslie’s grape vine before she joined My-Grape-Vine and became an owner of the Complete Grape Growers Guide and before I showed her where the structure of the vine should be.
From the picture above, you can see that there is no real structure of the grape vine. Only canes and stems that grew everywhere, without any purpose. Now, grape vines that grow like this, normally bears only fruit on the outer ridges of grape vine, as they are too compact inside, with no or very little sunlight penetrating the grape vine. These vines will never produce optimum crop sizes and will almost always have diseases.
The most difficult thing to teach a newbie grape grower is to construct a well balanced grape vine. It is something you must learn to “see”, before you prune the vine. Seeing or recognizing usable canes and the best place to prune spurs and what canes to leave, is a skill you will have master first, before you will be able to prune the vine the correct way.
What I normally teach people and also the workers on my farm, is to stand in front of the vine, look at the vine and identify and point out the canes you want to use (keep). As I said before, it takes practice, but isn’t difficult once your grape vine has been correctly pruned once.
Now, pruning a grape vine that looks like Leslie’s vine once looked, isn’t easy. You will have to remove lots of canes and even some parts of the old wood and stems – this requires “hard pruning” (as we call it).
Look at the end results below. I am so proud of what she has achieved.
Normally, when you “hard prune”, do not expect to have massive grape crops the following year because you are using canes and spurs that was on the inside of the grape vine didn’t have any sunlight exposure during the growing season and will most probably be unfruitful or very little fruitful.
Your goal should be to construct the vine correctly, let it grow the following growing season (even if it bears little fruit the following year), prune it again and enjoy a good, healthy crop the following year.
I hope you now realize how important it really is to construct your grape vine the correct way.
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