How do I train an existing Valient grapevine over a gate arbor?

purplehouseWYMay 8, 2013

We purchased a home a few years ago with what I believe is a Valient grapevine that had been planted by the previous homeowner to grow over an arbor positioned over a garden gate. There were a couple of canes about 6 feet tall. I am uncertain how long ago it was planted before we moved in.

The first year I spoke to a local nursery owner as I had no experience with growing grapes. He suggested I cut it back to the base completely. So I did that and the next year I had 2 sets of vines from the base and healthy leaves fruit. The third year I wasn't paying attention and before I could get to the pruning the vine it broke dormacy and proceeded to go everywhere rambling over to a bordering fence and I had to add extra wires up the arbor so it would have something to cling onto instead of its own canes. I have one cane I think would make a great single extends all the way up the arbor but I don't know what to do no its at the top etc.

So the vine is still just starting to bud and I want to train it properly but I cannot find any visual reference on the internet on how to train a vine on my style of arbor...not the giant pergolas I keep seeing pictures of. I am very visual and hands reading print instructions I don't do well with. I will post some photos tonight of the vine and structure.

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Not sure if this is helpful, but I have 2 Valiant vines and I don't do anything to them, just let them ramble up a 3-wire support, then they continue up onto the fence and into the nearby trees. In the spring I prune out dead wood and canes growing where I don't want them to, and shorten things up a bit. They are so vigorous that about twice a year I go after them with hedge shears so I can maintin access to that part of the garden. Maybe you can do the same for your arbor, just pruning with shears when things get unwieldy and you need to shape the vine? Don't cut to the ground, you need some of that old wood to provide the new fruiting growth. A photo showing the grape at the back of the garden covering it's support, the 6-ft fence, and then heading up into a nearby apple tree:

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 8:13PM
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I have the same looking bunch of grapes as you and you're right just cut them back and you'll get more grapes than a trestle setup. I get 60 jars of Jelly from two main plants and there connected to my deck and there to mature to do anything else with them.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 12:58PM
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