How soon do you start picking off grape clusters in young plants?

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Some of my first year vines already have little clusters. Should I wait until it’s convenient and they’ve grown past the vine shelter, or would it be better to get them off sooner?

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Masbustelo

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I will say sooner rather than later. The plant is expending energy for the grapes, rather than the vine. The sooner you eliminate them the energy can revert to vine production. This year you are developing the vine above ground, and the roots below ground. What you see above ground mirrors root development below ground. As much foliage as you see, that is how much roots you now have. Don't do any pruning this summer. Next spring you will prune to 2-3 buds and experience explosive growth next year, and next year you will develop the permanent trunk and the cordons. Each vine should have a bamboo stake presently. The stake is a guide to bring the vine to your fruiting wire safely As the vine emerges from the protector tie it to the stake with surveyors tape. Otherwise they may snap off in the wind.
 

Masbustelo

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This is a second year vine that was pruned to two buds in April. I'm letting all the leaves and vine shoots grow to build strength for next year. At the top you can see two shoots heading towards the top wire. They will become next years fruiting cordons.
 

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I will say sooner rather than later. The plant is expending energy for the grapes, rather than the vine. The sooner you eliminate them the energy can revert to vine production.
Thank you for your thorough response! I had thought it was wiser to get them off sooner, but I didn’t know if it really mattered. I’ll nick them off whenever I first see them.

It’s great to see vines at varying stages for the first three years. Pictures during those stages are really helpful, so thanks again!
 

Masbustelo

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The second year vines look a little wild. Because purposely I let all the sprouts and side shoots grow to build roots and plant strength, But the 'action' is in guiding the vine in the second year to where you want it to go. the third spring one prunes off the previous years excess, and you end up with the vertical trunk and the left and right cordons on their wire/s regardless of vsp, twc, or gdc.
 

BigH

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Some of my first year vines already have little clusters. Should I wait until it’s convenient and they’ve grown past the vine shelter, or would it be better to get them off sooner?
Conventional wisdom says to get them off fairly early in the growing season. TBH, I don't bother when I use grow tubes on season 1 or season 2 vines. It is too much of a hassle to move the grow tubes out of the way, and I don't want to risk snapping off shoots. My site has rich soil, so I usually see a lot of vigor. I don't feel that a few grape clusters is going to set me back in any perceivable way, especially if I only left two buds on the vine.

If you are going to remove them, my advice is to do so after the shoots have toughened up a bit, but well before the onset of veraison.

H
 

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