Pruning grapevines

neptune24April 18, 2012

I have a couple of questions about pruning grapevines:

1) Late last spring, I planted 3 Concord grapevines. (I realized later that Concord grapes aren't the best choice for N. GA, but I still want to do my best to care for them.) They starting leafing out a couple weeks ago, and look pretty good. I have never pruned these grapevines, either last year or this year. I didn't know if I was supposed to. Is it too late to prune them now? Also, should I put up some stakes/trellises for them?

2) Early last month, I planted two Delaware grapevines. One of them is still alive, but one died. The nursery just sent me a replacement (which I received yesterday). They also sent an instruction booklet, which I don't think they did a month ago. Anyway, the booklet had a diagram showing how to trim both the roots and the cane of the grapevine, and how deep to plant it. I followed the instructions as much as I could. However, that made me realize that I didn't do any of that with the other grapevine I planted last month. It's obviously too late to trim the roots of that grapevine or to plant it deeper, but should I try to prune the cane at all? It's slowly leafing out, but has been under some drought-stress, so lately I've been watering it every day.

Thanks for any help with my questions.

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I know nothing about growing grapes in Georgia so I cannot say if these varieties will do well for you.

I do grow concord grapes here in Wisconsin. I use the 4 arm kniffen method of growing. There are other methods so
you will have to decide how it is best to grow them.

I planted my vines 8' apart and staked them with 6' stakes.
The trellis was built first before planting the vines. I have two wires attaached to fence posts at 3' and 6' height.

The first year I tied the vine to the stakes and got them to 5'. The second year I pruned them to get 4 arms, attaching one on each wire. I removed all the rest. Decent crop of grapes
the second year.

This year (year 3) I removed the stakes and pruned each of the four original canes back to about a 24" arm off the main trunk. From the 24" left, I had numerous branches up to 8' long. One cane was selected of pencil thickness and pruned to a lenght that has about 10-15 buds. All other
canes on each arm are cut off except for leaving two as renewal spurs. cut these off to two buds in length.

Again, pruning will depend on the type of system you use be it cordon, kniffen or ubrella system. The main thing to
realize on each is that grapes produce a lot of wood each year so heavy pruning is a must. You also want to remove old wood and renwew new wood since grapes produce best from
previouos season's wood. Finally, too many buds left on will result in too many grapes produced. Any pruning system should give you 40-60 buds left on a healthy establised grapevine. Less of the vine is not vigorous.

Whatever system you use, or even just a trellis, make sure it can stand the weight of the vines laden with fruit.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 11:47AM
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i planted my first one this year (which i think was chewed all the way down by animals). I found this very helpful for explaining pruning and other care, which i unfortunately wont need.

Here is a link that might be useful: oregon grapevine guide

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 5:49PM
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Thanks for your replies, spartan-apple and queenskitchen. I guess my biggest question is this:

Is it too late to do any pruning for this season now that the vines have leafed out?

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 12:23AM
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Yeah, you should probably just let it do it's thing now that its leafed out. Best to prune them when they're dormant.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 9:45AM
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OK, thanks, Edymnion. At least that saves me some work for the time being. :)

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 7:31AM
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