How hard prun­ing pro­duces bet­ter qual­ity fruit

Amateur Gardening - - Contents -

THERE is al­ways the op­por­tu­nity to grab the secateurs and get prun­ing, and now it’s the turn of in­door and out­door grapevines. Vines are ram­pant and, if left unchecked, could swamp a back gar­den. They come back from even the hard­est cut­ting. Tough prun­ing also en­cour­ages higher qual­ity grapes.

It is best to carry out prun­ing be­tween now and Christ­mas, as vines bleed sap if pruned at any other time.

If you are af­ter large bunches of grapes, the vines should be trained a cer­tain way from year one.

If you have a vine that is ram­bling over a fence and get­ting out of hand, you can be quite bru­tal with prun­ing. Re­move any un­wanted sideshoots and any over­crowded stems and also shorten the main stems.

If vines are trained along wires in the Guyot sys­tem, all the fruited hor­i­zon­tals are pruned back to two buds from the main stem. Two new re­place­ment shoots are pruned to 2-3ft (60-90cm) and tied into the hor­i­zon­tal wires to carry bunches of grapes next year. The cen­tral stem is cut back to two or three buds.

Green­house vines and those against a wall out­doors are of­ten trained to the rod-and-spur sys­tem, which is ba­si­cally a cor­don on a sin­gle rod. The main leader is short­ened by two thirds and tied to a hor­i­zon­tal sup­port to en­cour­age shoots lower down. Then all the lat­er­als are cut to one or two buds.

Prun­ing keeps vines tidy and pro­duc­tive Prune grape vines from now un­til Christ­mas

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