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Gardening Articles: Care :: Plant Care Techniques

Grape Pruning: Three Systems (page 2 of 2)

by National Gardening Association Editors

Spur Pruning: Two-Arm

In this system you develop two permanent arms with spurs that produce fruiting wood each year.

Second Winter
Remove all canes except the best two; tie these to the support wire. The next summer each bud along the arm will send out a fruiting shoot. Weave these in and out of the upper wires.

Third Winter
Check the horizontal branches for the strongest vertical shoots and cut each of these back to two buds. These wilt be the fruiting spurs. Space them about 6 to 10 inches apart. Every bud you leave on the spurs will produce a fruiting shoot the following year. Each year, repeat the process.

Spur Pruning: Head-Trained

For this system, the vine will need only a strong, vertical, 4-foot post for support.

1. Allow the vine to grow to the top of the post and cut just above that point. Tie to the post. Remove any branches below. Next year, let four or five branches grow.

2. In the winter, cut each of the branches back to two or three buds. Remove any weak branches and any on tower parts of the trunk. Buds left on spurs will produce fruiting shoots next year. You can allow more branches to develop as the vine matures so there will be more fruiting shoots each year. A mature head-trained vine can have more than seven main branches.

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