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Pruning Grapevines

Rutuja Jathar Feb 6, 2019
Pruning grapevines is a difficult as well as confusing task for most garden lovers. Get some information about this practice and some tips which might prove beneficial for doing the same.
Planting grapevines in the backyard is one of the oldest traditions. This would give the gardeners a delicious, fresh taste of homegrown grapes. For that, pruning grapevines is a must. Maintaining the shape and size of the vines and productivity of the grapes is also important. It avoids messy tangled shape of the vines and helps fruits to ripen fully.

Need for this Practice

There are many reasons for grapevine pruning and so are the precautions that need to be taken. This practice in the winter season is the best thing that one can do to ensure the health of one's grapevines.
Winter is the dormant season for many of the trees hence, it is the best time to prune them. This practice is always advisable after leaf fall of the grapevines, which is after late fall and throughout the winter.
During the period before fall, important minerals and carbohydrates are transferred to the woody part of the vine for the winter storage. Whereas in fall season, it can cause irreversible damage to the health of the vine. After the leaf fall, the vascular system of the plant plugs up and hence it is the best period for the process.
✦ Grapevines are called woody tree climbers that climb by attaching themselves with the help of their tendrils. In any case, the maintenance of the shape of the vine is an important thing to be observed.
✦ Bud selection and placements are two things done during the process which actually improve the bud fruitfulness. Hence, pruning during the growing season can be called an investment for the buds of next season.

✦ Furthermore, it maintains the shoot number of the grapevines. Removing unwanted new shoots and regulating total number of shoots is one of them.
✦ Improving the quality and quantity of the fruits is one of the main aim of this process. Fruit-bearing capacity of grapevines depend on the photosynthetic activity and number of leaves.

A gardener must learn grapevine pruning. Pruning the vines in the first year of plantation is not good. Not doing this would ensure development and strength of root system.

Some Tips

✦ One would have to select the strongest looking stem of the vine to start the procedure. Then, using a pair of bypass scissors remove all the nearby stems at the base of the plant and as close to the trunk of the selected stem as possible. Stake the remaining stem (that will serve as the trunk of the plant) and secure it with a wire or the grape stake.
✦ Allow stems of the vine to grow only from the main trunk and in the spring of the second year, remove all the stems excluding two of the best looking side shoots that are growing from the trunk. Further, one can also encourage side branching by pinching the top of the main trunk.
✦ Again, start the procedure in summer or mid summer of the second year. This time, cut back the top of the main trunk just at the time when the vine has reached the desired height. This process is called tip pruning and allows the growth of new and healthy leaves along the main trunk.
✦ Cut all the unwanted side branches during the second winter season, so that one can have the basic frame of the plant which is an upright trunk with two outward side stems.
This process is easy with selective garden tools and the knowledge of gardening. Now that one is aware of the procedure, one can add charm to the grapesvines in one's garden.