grapevines - Knowledgebase Question

Grants, NM (Zone 6B)
Avatar for teach1023
Question by teach1023
March 24, 2007
We bought a house that has old grapevines that have be neglected for a long time. What can we do to save them?

Answer from NGA
March 24, 2007
Sounds like you'll have to start from scratch with your grapevines. I'd begin by pruning everything down now and starting all over. Here are some easy basic training steps: In late winter choose the best cane and head it back, leaving just 3 buds (between ground level and the top of the cane). Remove all other canes at this same time. Allow unrestricted growth all summer. In the early spring of the following year, remove all other shoots and head the main trunk back to the height you want it to begin its lateral growth. During the summer train 2 vigorous shoots to grow on either side of the main stem, removing all other shoots that sprout on the trunk. By the third year allow new shoots to form, but pinch out all of the flower clusters when they appear. By the fourth year the main framework will be in place and all you'll need to do is pinch and prune to keep the vines inbounds. Grape production will be in full swing by the fourth summer.

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