Grape Pruning is VitalIt’s very important that you have the right mind set about grape pruning. The task is to learn how to grape prune and not to simply think of it as some awful chore. You are really just keeping the plant in harmony. It keeps the vine healthy and in the form that you want it in. In the end, grape pruning allows you to have a regular crop with the best quality of grapes.
Say you don’t think you need to do any grape pruning, remember the grape is a perennial plant and it won’t even bare fruit for three years if that. The first harvest you have will be a nice good growth. If you are new to this, you might look at it and be delighted and wonder what all the fuss of grape pruning is about. After all you didn’t grape prune at all yet and look at what you got.
Of course there is an “I told you to grape prune” side to this. The next year the vines will produce more fruit than it can care for and that is when the trouble starts. All the old growth now has new buds and the following year you will have a big crop. The problem is that the vine can’t produce the energy needed to ripen the crop and so it will end up of poor quality and with little worth.
Vineyard care takes maintenance and devotion. During this time of growth it takes grape pruning. Grape pruning encourages the plant to grow and to give more. Annual grape pruning is important in maintaining a uniform yearly production of quality fruit. The best time to prune grapevines is in the dormant season after the danger of severe cold weather has past. Learning grape pruning of your vineyard requires practice and experience.
Another reason for grape pruning is to control the size, shape and how much it will produce. It will take years to train. First thing after planting is to erect the trellis, to give the vine something to grow up. Vines are only allowed to grow from one strong shoot; any of the other shoots will be cut back. When the next dormant period passes that is the time that the grape grower will need to develop and train the arms of the plant. They are tied like outstretched arms and all the other shoots are cut off. Each year during dormancy the plant is pruned and trained. It is important if you want good producing fines to only prune during the dormancy.
Annual grape pruning of the vines removes the previous years fruiting canes and spurs. That way healthy new cane will be produced and since fruit only grows on one year old canes it is grape pruning correctly is vital.
Grape pruning incorrectly can also cause many problems. If you prune back to much, then more shoots will grow on the vine which will produce more crop and more leaves. Because the canopy is so thick, it is then too shady and that means that the grapes will not ripen.
Of course you don’t just grab and tug off the vines, many hand tools, like handsaws, hand pruners and loppers can be used for the job. Your main desire in grape pruning is to do the job correctly and not to injure the plant.
Grape pruning has some intensely valid points. It keeps the vines in control, keeps them in a form that is manageable and helps to regulate crop growth. It is not a hard job and the effort you put into it will give you years of rewards.