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Recommendations for pruning Top wire French hybrid vines in Midwest W 2 additional Mid wire cordons?

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rpdranc

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Because of winter injury I hv decided to keep 2 extra cordons at midwire along w the two on top. How will this effect pruning, crop? Should I rub off flowering buds on midwire and just retain 2 buds per spur on top wire cordon? 8A5E878A-0DF2-4848-9734-B3CDD67FEED8.jpeg D246E76C-978F-4AEA-B8C1-A18E70EC6922.jpeg How many buds should I leave on both top and mid spurs?? This will be my 4th year and first harvest. I don’t prune until I see what’s survived and going to bud. Late frosts and early pruning have killed vines a couple years. Only hv 120 vines so can knock out pretty quick. Really appreciate advice @grapeman or anyone else!! Thanks!!!
 

salcoco

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well you can prune now and leave 5 buds per spur. wait util bud burst and then go back and prune back to two buds. this should take care of any winter damage. you can add a mid wire cordon at the same length as the high wire cordon. I would only do this for a high vigor wine as it will take more energy to support this midwire cordon and provide a good fruit crop. if the crop is to heavy than quality of fruit will suffer.
 

rpdranc

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Truly appreciated, thank you!
well you can prune now and leave 5 buds per spur. wait util bud burst and then go back and prune back to two buds. this should take care of any winter damage. you can add a mid wire cordon at the same length as the high wire cordon. I would only do this for a high vigor wine as it will take more energy to support this midwire cordon and provide a good fruit crop. if the crop is to heavy than quality of fruit will suffer.
 

jgmillr1

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The extra cordons on the mid-wire are not going to help you. Growth there will experience shading from the growth off the top-wire cordons. The shading will impact fruit ripening and pose a risk for disease.

You are definitely better off taking the advice from @salcoco to leave extra buds and make adjustments around the time they start flowering. This way you'll keep developing the spurs on your TWC and be better set up for future seasons.
 

rpdranc

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The extra cordons on the mid-wire are not going to help you. Growth there will experience shading from the growth off the top-wire cordons. The shading will impact fruit ripening and pose a risk for disease.

You are definitely better off taking the advice from @salcoco to leave extra buds and make adjustments around the time they start flowering. This way you'll keep developing the spurs on your TWC and be better set up for future seasons.
Sounds good, I’ll remove them, thank you for taking time to help!!
 

BigH

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Sounds good, I’ll remove them, thank you for taking time to help!!
Were you planning to let shoots on the low wire grow up or down? I don't see any catch wires, so I am guessing down. It looks sort of like you are trying for a spur pruned 4 arm kniffen (if there is such a thing). 4 arm kniffen is normally cane pruned, and is typically used on low to moderate vigor varieties.

Your idea might work out OK if you had severe bud damage on the top cordon resulting in a lack of shoots. That reduced shoot growth would limit the amount of excess shade falling on the lower lower cordon. In theory, you could remove the low cordon on vines that bud out well on the top, but you run the risk that the vines won't cooperate (ie sending too much energy into shoots on the low cordon at the expense of shoots in the mid region of the upper cordon). Also, be mindful of retaining too many buds.

I like the other suggestions of long spur pruning the top cordon and just nixing the low cordon. You should get some good shoot growth as long as you planted the right varieties for your growing zone. Another strategy would be to keep one or two of those canes emanating from the head region of the upper cordon for insurance until you are satisfied with the shoot growth on the existing cordon. You could replace dead cordons with those canes if you see some major damage. All of these ideas require you to make another pass through the vineyard early in the season to remove insurance buds and shoots on vines that didn't need them.

H
 
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