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Head training hybrids

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CTDrew

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I have some Cayuga (32 vines)planted on a stony low vigor site going into year two. Each vine is currently staked with a heavy metal t-post. I was thinking of experimenting with head training them rather than lay posts and wire. I have not found much online as to how a hybrid grape like Cayuga would take to this method of training. I realize I will get lower yields which doesn't worry me as these are spare vines and if I got a small amount of nice quality grapes I'd be happy. Are there issues anybody sees from trying this with Cayuga? Has anyone tried head training with a hybrid?
 

grapeman

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Cayuga can be a pretty high vigor variety. Being head trained you are relying on a few shoots every year to produce the crop and feed the vine. All of the vigor in the vine goes to those few shoots. Speaking from experience this will give you monsterous shoot growth. Here the vines freeze back most years and that means few shoots growing- what you are wanting to do. They usually do produce some grapes and the clusters can weigh almost a pound apiece and it will make some nice wine. The shoots however end up growing up to 20 and 25 feet at times. I will let you make up your mind if you want to try it or not.
 

CTDrew

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I have Cayuga trained VSP on my sandy site and they do have a lot of vigor. They don't die back down here either, which may help that vigor along. I thought that the weaker soil might counteract that natural tendency to grow like crazy, but I hadn't thought about the vine putting all that energy into fewer shoots thus recapturing the vigor. Maybe I will head train some and VSP the others at the stony site and learn and observe!
 

grapeman

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Never hurts to experiment and try new things.
 

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