Quantcast

Is it possible to head prune grapes in the Midwest?

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

BigH

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2014
Messages
299
Reaction score
145
Seems like you would have a hard time retaining enough buds if you used a spur-pruned head trained system, which in turn might lead to excessive vigor. I have never tried it though, so I really don't know enough to shoot down the idea.

H
 

CTDrew

Member
WMT Supporter
Joined
May 5, 2015
Messages
81
Reaction score
22
Location
Hartford County and Tolland County Connecticut
I cannot speak to the Midwest as I am in New England, but I am running this experiment myself on my little lakeside lot. I am trying this with 32 Cayuga White vines which is coming in to year 3. My reason for playing around with this training system is due to the site. The ground is a stony sandy loam which makes setting my usual heavy posts, line post and wire arrangement near impossible with hand tools. So I focused the digging work on the planting hole and set a u-post with each vine. My site is lower on the vigor side which will be good as I think on a higher vigor site, like I have at my other planting, it would turn into a real mess. I went with Cayuga as I was planting them at the other site and had surplus, not because I thought it would be the best or smartest variety to grow. So far, so good. We’ll see if I get some crop this year out of them and if I get good quality. So I would say give it a try but either work with a lower vigor site or variety. If nothing else you’ll have the fun of learning.
 

BenK

Member
Joined
May 14, 2017
Messages
89
Reaction score
14
Im not sure what type of grape but wollershime in wisconsin has grapes that are trellised on standalone metal T shape posts at the front of the property. They mostly grow foch and saint peppin from what I recall.
 

balatonwine

The Verecund Vigneron
Joined
May 9, 2017
Messages
966
Reaction score
663
Location
Badacsony wine region. Hungary
You can head prune any variety. The question is "should you". Vigor has already been mentioned. Aside from good points on site fertility issues by @CTDrew, you can "mediate" vigor by green work in the summer. And head pruning is a better option with varieties that have thick, stiff canes than varieties that have weak canes. The weak cane varieties may need to be tied up around a central stake, and those bundles may reduce light to leaves, and can also increase occurrence of disease.
 

Masbustelo

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2015
Messages
572
Reaction score
139
Location
Northern Illinois 5b
I have a residential lot and have maxed out trellis space, but I think I could work in a few head trained vines. My soil is a loess clay, plenty productive. @CTDrew, could you post some pictures?
 

Masbustelo

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2015
Messages
572
Reaction score
139
Location
Northern Illinois 5b
Thanks @BenK. Head pruned or not, I guess I have been wondering whether or not the vines can be pruned into a short tree type shape. Like a trunk to five feet with an umbrella shape at the top. Maybe this is what Wollersheim has done
 
Top