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Training: Year 1, thinking ahead to year 2

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sremick

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So now that I've resolved the question of grafts (I don't actually have any), I'm free to train whatever is coming up. It's been about a month since planting and I'm getting good growth on all the vines. Grow tubes are on and all vines are staked. Currently still working on the trellis wiring, but that shouldn't take me much longer.

From what I read, I should just let whatever wants to grow this year, grow... and not prune anything until dormancy during the winter (or towards the end of winter?). I would like to do a 2-trunk system and will be using a high-wire cordon, draping down. But I've seen a bit of conflicting info on how to get there. Some points I could use clarity on:

1) when I prune this coming winter, do I prune back to my 2 strongest canes (to train them to become trunks), or prune back to 2-3 buds on my strongest cane and let those buds grow into the 2 trunking canes in year 2? Seems the latter would set me back a year before I can expect fruit.

2) Regardless on #1, once the 2 trunking canes reach the top wire, do I:
A) bend them laterally to become the 2 cordons, or
B) prune the top off and then let a lateral shoot on each grow to become the cordons?
 

Masbustelo

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If some of the vines are pencil size or bigger you can keep them and prune the smaller diameter off. Keep two buds on each at the top. Otherwise cut to the ground to two buds. Since you will have two trunks, bend one one way and the other, the other.
 

BigH

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I pruned vines that didn't produce a decent, pencil thick, trunk, back to two buds. More than half my vineyard got this treatment after year one. Also, make sure to avoid keeping bull canes as trunks. They are not very winter hardy.

There is a lot of debate on the second question. I bend them over if I have two trunks reaching the wire. I pinch off the vine above the fruiting wire if I only have one trunk. With respect to 1 or 2 trunks, I prefer 2, but I don't fight the vine. If it only gives me one good trunk, I don't lose sleep over it.

H
 
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sremick

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If some of the vines are pencil size or bigger you can keep them and prune the smaller diameter off.
Do you mean prune the pencil-sized vines off at the point they become thinner than a pencil? Or leave them be if they're pencil-thick at their thickest point, and completely prune the vines that are thinner than a pencil in their entirety?

Keep two buds on each at the top. Otherwise cut to the ground to two buds.
"Otherwise" dependent on...? I'm sorry, I'm not clear what the deciding factor here is.

Since you will have two trunks, bend one one way and the other, the other.
My understanding of this depends on my first question above. If I'm to prune the pencil-sized canes off at the point they become thinner than a pencil, and leave 2 buds at the top, wouldn't it be one of those buds that then grows laterally that becomes the cordon, so no "bending"?
 

Masbustelo

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Yes I mean prune the pencil-sized vines off at the point they become thinner than a pencil. But really you wont gain much. If you prune to 2 or 3 buds back to the ground you get explosive growth in year two, and they soon catch up. The otherwise refers to the possibility you wont develop pencil size stock this year. You said your plan is to develop two trunks. When the time comes bend one left and one right. The reason for leaving two buds on potential stock is in case one gets knocked off.
 

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