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First ever grape vine...daft question !

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BritGrower

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Just received my first ever grape plant "Black Hamburg" It's a two year old plant and supplied to me as a pruned back stem rooted in a 1.5 litre pot. The stem is pencil thick and pruned back to approx 2.5 ft, there are an abundance of buds along the stem.

I've been planning on growing a grape for quite some time so I have researched and read all about growing and pruning etc etc to the nth degree. But one thing is not too clear is that for the first couple of years you cut the plant back hard so its vigour grows.

So here is my daft question, the leader (main stem) has been pruned do I take what is in effect a side shoot and grow that on as the leader for the next season?

So that eventually the main stem becomes a series of pruned back side shoots as the seasons go by?

Many thanks!
 

grapeman

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What you have that looks like a stem is just one seasons growth. Vines will grow several feet a year so they require a lot of pruning back. You will plant the vine this year and let the shoots grow without much pruning this year during growing. The pruning comes next winter after the vine has gone dormant. What I normally do is plant the vine, let it grow as it might with just a bit of tying it to a support post (I use bamboo stakes). This will keep it growing upright. Then when you prune you prune it back to one shoot which becomes the trunk later. This is very condensed but the main thing is to let it grow this year to develop nice roots full of energy for next year. Then you begin to work on the vines structure and in the third year as it takes shape you can begin to get a bit of fruit.
 

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