Which cane should I keep? (Grapes)

silent88December 28, 2012

I'm trying to spur prune my flame seedless grape vine and I can't decide which cane to keep! I was thinking the lower one because the new grow will have more space to grow upward, but the higher up one looks better and looks healthier in my opinion. Any suggestions? Thanks!

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


You can't really spur prune this year. You are going to cane prune with the option to spur prune next year. I'd keep the upper cane on both sides. Next year each bud on those canes will grow. A year from now you could cut each of those canes back if spur pruning or chose two new canes arising near the T if cane pruning.

I've had good fruit from Flame by cane pruning. Haven't tried spur pruning. It hasn't been necessary on anything I've grown. Guess I should try it once.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 5:06PM
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Yea but I mean I am getting it ready to spur prune in the future, meaning I want to choose which arms are going to stay on it for a long time. I'm not sure but I read flame seedless is typically spur pruned? I'm going to do cane for my Thompson seedless but they are a year behind because they didnt grow so well the first year.

Any reason why you'd choose the upper canes? Also, my post was referring to the left side, I forgot to say.

Also um I know I'm not to the point where spurs should have developed, but some did this year while the cane was growing. Some shoots grew out the side that look like spurs? But there's also a bud in the crack I think, should I just chop the shoots off? Not sure if you can see them. Wasn't sure if new shoots would grow out in the crack between the cane and the shoot or not so I left them for now...

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 5:48PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


I choose the upper on left because it is stronger. Neither is very big for cropping next year. I'd not leave very many bunches if it were my vine, maybe 8-12 total bunches.

I can see some small sprouts but they are too small and immature to yield any fruit next year. Cut them off. There will be buds at their base that will grow and fruit next year.

I'd also prune each cane back to about 10 buds. That's more than enough for such a small vine. You'll still need to thin fruit leaving that many buds.

Nice peas!

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 7:03PM
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Alright thanks for the advice! Just wondering, you don't think the lower branch will be better to allow next years shoots to grow more without getting above the fence and having no support? Even if it's not as strong for next year could it be the best choice overall?

8-12 bunches is plenty!! -- I'd gladly accept that for its third year, its more than I intended to leave to begin with. Last year I left 4 which got moldy, were small, and the birds ate what good berries were left. :/ I'll have to be smarter this year.

And thanks the peas are just beginning to flower! ;P

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 7:18PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

It really doesn't matter which cane you chose on left side. Either will work in the long run. Both sides will need to be tied off to the top rail on the fence to support the fruit. The top won't support the new canes much because I'd want them growing out on both sides. If you get a lot of wind you could put in support wires about 18 inches out on each side of the top rail. This would support the shoots, and fruit, growing on each side.

The wind can knock shoots off when they get about 3ft long but before the base hardens off. That's why support at 18 inches helps.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 7:31PM
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Hmm yea I was thinking you'd train them out and down anyways? But I kinda didn't plan too well for that as you can see :/ the other side of the fence is city property (sure nobody would care but they spray their plants with who knows what) and my veggie garden is pretty close.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 8:34PM
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I share my fence line with the water district. I told them I had fruiting plants on my side and asked them what they were spraying and if they could stop. It was a roundup type product. And they agreed to stop on a trial basis along my fence. You may want to ask the city to stop, can't hurt...

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 10:49PM
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