PRUNING GRAPE VINES
How hard pruning produces better quality fruit
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