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4 Things You Need To Know When Pruning Grape Vines

4 Things You Need To Know When Pruning Grape Vines

Pruning your grape vines might seem daunting, but don’t worry! It's a crucial step for healthy fruit and a top-notch harvest. We've gathered some of the must-knows when it comes to pruning grape vines. Keep these in mind and look forward to the next harvest season.

1. Timing is Everything

Know when to grab those pruning shears! The best time to prune your grapevines is when they're dormant, usually in late winter. Plan to prune between February and March, or if you're in a milder climate, December to January. If you’re in an area with mild weather, you can start pruning your vines as soon as the leaves have fallen off. Just make sure that your vines are fully dormant too avoid any harm.

2. Tools of the Trade

Choosing the right tool makes all the difference. For canes over 2 inches in diameter, grab a pair of trusty loppers. Smaller canes? A pruner is your go-to for clean cuts. And when you're dealing with thicker vines, try using a hand saw.

3. What to Trim

Get ready to snip away! Remove a solid 80 to 95 percent of old wood vines, then tackle the stems growing from the lower part of the vine trunk. After that, focus on the shoots from the previous year, leaving at least 3 buds per shoot – these will be your grape bearers. Keep this routine yearly to let new shoots flourish.

4. Pick Your Pruning Style

There are two main types of pruning: cane and spur pruning.

Cane pruning: Remove shoots at the lower part of the trunk, keeping only the fruitful new ones. Prune those new canes, setting them up to become mature canes or future fruiting canes.

Spur pruning: Trim back new or short, stubby canes with two buds. This allows new growth to sprout from the spur, evolving into fruiting canes later on.

Whether you're dealing with grape vines, apple trees, or any fruit-bearing trees, yearly pruning is the key to kick out the old and bring in the new for thriving, disease-free plants. Invest in top-notch tools to keep your grapes flourishing for the seasons to come. Happy pruning!