grape vine ties and pruning

tlouise(6)June 2, 2009

I planted 4 grape vines this year ( all table grapes: reliance, lakemont, and two canadice). I live near Buffalo, NY. I put in a trellis which is 5' high, with two wires , one at the top and one halfway down. There are two vines spaced between posts. As I understand it, the goal this year is to develop the root system. So far, so good. They are growing nicely. Here's some questions:

1. What is best to use to tie the grape vines to the wire?

  1. Am I right in thinking I don't prune this first year until the growing season is over? Therefore I should tie whatever growth develops to the wires for this year? Then most will be cut off in the winter leaving a strong central stem from which I"ll hopefully have two arms on each side, one for each wire...?? Am I getting this?

3. I read something about not letting the grapes produce the first year. I have the beginnings of little clusters. Will these first be flowers, then grapes? Am I really to just cut them off? If so, when? Yikes, sounds painful.

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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

I'll be interested in hearing responses to your questions about the ties and pruning. I do know you MUST get those clusters off ASAP. They will rob your vines of the energy they need to grow. I had that same problem, and was strongly advised to snap those clusters off. It was a sad day, but I did it! I have 13 new vines just planted this year. Much to learn!! Here is a link to a forum strictly dedicated to growing grape vines:

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing Vines

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 9:56AM
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OH, dear! no other replies. Thank you desertdance for the link and the advice.. Guess we'll try to figure this thing out on our own.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 4:54PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

tlouise: Everything you suggested is right on the money. The only change I made over the yrs is to forget the bottom wire. The vine won't grow well there and it really adds nothing to your system. Just go with the top wire. If you want a larger canopy put a T on the top. Yes you should cut off any fruit this yr. Not because it will permanently stunt your vine. Just because you won't get much fruit anyhow. Next yr you can leave some fruit if your vine is big enough.

If your vines grow well enough this yr, you can form the canes on the top wire this yr. If those canes grow 6-8ft this yr you will have enough growth to leave some fruit next yr. If you don't form good canes on the top wire this yr you will be without fruit next yr.

The Fruitnut

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 6:05PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I'll also add to fruitnuts good advice that if the vine is growing vigorously then you may want to cut off all growing canes but the biggest one. The goal is to get one cane to the top wire by the end of the summer, to make the trunk of your vine for the rest of its life. If you have a bunch of canes it may be that none of them will reach but with only one it will grow more.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 8:56AM
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