How to Prune a Grape Vine

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When pruning grapes or grape vines, there are a few rules to follow, beginning with a first year in which the vines should be trained up to a wire. Discover how many shoots to retain, while pruning the others, with help from a sustainable gardener in this free video on pruning and plant care.

Part of the Video Series: Vegetable Gardening & Plant Care
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Video Transcript

Hi this is Yolanda Vanveen and in this segment I want to talk about how to prune a grapevine or how to prune grapes. Now there are a few rules that you should follow and I have a chart to show you. So the first year you want to train your grapevine up to a wire and generally the shoots will develop from buds on the trunk so you want to retain at least two shoots that grow two to six inches below the wire. So you want to make sure you have at least a couple shoots that come right up to the wire. You want to remove all the other shoots other than the two that you have selected even when they are small so that way you have one main plant that will concentrate for the next year. So then the next year you want to prune back the two canes and only let two sides grow so you want to cut out any of the wild succors or any of the wild branches and just leave two sides to it so that Winter you pretty much cut back all of the side branches and you only have two main branches. You don't want all the wild branches. You want that grape plant to concentrate on these two main branches so they can produce the most fruit. So by the third growing season you will find it will just be taking off. There will be wild growth everywhere and you will want to just cut it all out but there is a trick to it. I will show you here. So when you are cutting them out you want to leave just one or two bud spurs near the base of each arm and then you want to leave the spurs for the new fruiting canes for the following year. So you want to still leave some of the buds and not trim too far down all the way to the cane but you also want to leave a couple of these renewal stems as well. So you are leaving a couple main stems and then just cutting partly on some of the side stems. So the trick with your grape plants is not to prune too much either. You want to leave the main branches but you want to cut out all the side branches and that way your grape plant will concentrate on the stems it does have and it will produce a lot more fruit for you.

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