Quantcast

help with arbor grape, please?

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

susieqz

Member
Joined
May 23, 2018
Messages
42
Reaction score
4
Location
high plains
4 years ago, a friend gifted me with a grape cutting.i planted it to provide shade on the south of my arbor. last year, it took off n is now providing great shade.

to my great joy this yeear there were 2 dozen bunches of grapes on it.
i don't understand grape pruning, but i did see i needed to thin them, so i removed half.
it has never been pruned.
i was hoping that someone could tell me how to continue getting grapes every year, with the minimum of pruning.

this grape is most valuable for its great beauty n shade to relax under.
i can't cut back in the ways i've read about.
a big bushy plant is more important than any crop.

still, having grapes to eat would be fun.
my fruit crop is mostly figs, so grapes would yield a bit of diversity..
so, could you please tell me, in words i can understand, how to get a few grape without much cutting?
thanks,
sue
 

GreenEnvy22

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2015
Messages
517
Reaction score
686
Location
Niagara Region, Canada
We're in a similar boat. We have about 15 vines that grow up over our trellis/arbours in the back yard. We like them for shade as well as the grapes.The main trunks on ours go up about 9 feet, then across another 9 ft.
I prune back mostly to the main trunk, leaving a few buds every couple of feet. Do this during winter when vines are dormant.

We also have 4 fig trees :)
 

susieqz

Member
Joined
May 23, 2018
Messages
42
Reaction score
4
Location
high plains
thanks, green. what does ''a few buds'' mean?
i only have 3 trunks coming from this plant.
 

GreenEnvy22

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2015
Messages
517
Reaction score
686
Location
Niagara Region, Canada
This is what our setup looks like.

So on the trunks, you'll see a lot of rough dark brown bark, that is old growth. You'l see some lighter brown smooth bark, this is last years growth. Grapes grow out of the previous years growth. So on that last years growth, you'll see some bumps, or by this time of year (if you're in Northern Hemisphere) they likely have already opened up into leaves and maybe some tiny bunches.

What I'd probably do in your case is maintain a main trunk, and each winter cut most of the smaller branches off, leaving a couple inches of the branches still there. There should be a couple buds in that couple of inches, that next year will grow into new shoots. See the second pic, thats how it would start next spring. Those buds will grow into new long branches, and you'd still get plenty of shade plus some yummy grapes.
 

Attachments

susieqz

Member
Joined
May 23, 2018
Messages
42
Reaction score
4
Location
high plains
thanks tons, green. finally something i can understand !
so, this years growth produces next year's grapes?
i didn't understand that.
in fact, i understood very little of what i read about pruning.
you set up looks great n very comfy.
 

GreginND

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
3,699
Reaction score
2,111
Location
Fargo, ND
Yes, the most important thing to know is that the buds from last year's canes become this year's new canes with fruit.

Here is a PDF file with some basic information on grape pruning for trellises. It is a good start.

In grape growing, whatever trellis system is used, there are two basic ways to do it. One is to grow a trunk in the center and arms (called cordons - usually two) as a permanent structure. The new shoots with fruit will grow from spurs off of the permanent cordon. The canes need to be pruned back in spring before bud break to usually two buds as GreenEnvy has shown you. The other way is to lay down new canes every year from the center trunk as the arms (called cane pruning). All other canes from the previous year are pruned away. This is basically what you do when you lay down your permanent cordon for the first time.

To grow on a gazebo or arbor you can adjust the structure of your permanent trunks and cordons to the shape of the structure. Keep in mind the canes that grow off of the structure will grow abundantly and long. Pruning back every year will consistently allow the plant to balance fruit production so it does not overproduce. Imagine if you left all the old growth on and every node budded out with a new can. It would be an exponential grown and become a mess. And there would be so much fruit it could never ripen it all on one plant.

Good luck and let us know if you have any more questions. Hope this helps.
 

susieqz

Member
Joined
May 23, 2018
Messages
42
Reaction score
4
Location
high plains
thanks, greg.
so, i cut back canes that fruit this year, to make next year's canes, that make next year's grapes.
i can tag these canes now, to cut back to 2 nodes.
hopefully, i can cut the main vine to keep it at 15'?
i have a good grape for my location. it withstood temps down to -1.
plus, the soil is very alkaline, being made of sand n gravel of limestone.
unfortunately, there is no way to tell what variety it is.
the mother was sold to my friend as cabernet sauvignon. he says it was mislabled n there's no way to tell what it is.
so, if the grapes are good, i'll try rooting a cutting or two.
this grape is both beautiful n fruitful.
in summer 4, there were at least 30 bunches, which i thinned to 15.
i may even be able to try making wine.
 

GreginND

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
3,699
Reaction score
2,111
Location
Fargo, ND
Sorry I haven’t responded sooner. Yes, you can keep your main structure pruned to the length you want. I don’t think there is any need to tag the canes from this year’s grown. Once you see them next spring you a.m. should be able to easily see what is one year wood and what is older. The older wood will have bark on it while the canes from the last growth will still be pretty smooth and maybe shiny brown. They definitely look different.
 

susieqz

Member
Joined
May 23, 2018
Messages
42
Reaction score
4
Location
high plains
thanks greg. good to know there's a visual cue.
i prune figs in fall, after dormancy.
you guys think spring is better?
 
Top