Trimming new vines

Discussion in 'Grape Growing & Vineyard Forum' started by Frosty452, Jun 20, 2019.

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  1. Jun 20, 2019 #1

    Frosty452

    Frosty452

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    I planted in May and my vines are doing great, not one failed to leaf out. However some of them have 3-4 shoots coming off the head, should I trim them down to 1 this first year and let a second one grow in next year or keep two shoots? I have 32 resiling and plan on a vsp setup.
     
  2. Jun 20, 2019 #2

    salcoco

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    normal planting instructions are to trim back to two buds when plant is dormant. these two buds would then leaf out. purpose in first year is to get good root growth. I would prune down to two shoots pick the strongest. the second year let growth follow nature and then prune when plant is dormant to your trellis
     
  3. Jun 20, 2019 #3

    Masbustelo

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  4. Jun 20, 2019 #4

    Frosty452

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    Thanks I thought I read that somewhere before but then I got looking at vsp training and it showed 1 fine the first year but letting it bush out make more sense
     
  5. Jun 20, 2019 #5

    wxtrendsguy

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    Trust me after trying to rush things along for 5 years listen to what Masbustelo tells you. Control the weeds by hand or with chemicals but keep a dirt strip 2 feet wide for the vines to grow. Your new vines do not need any competition for nutrients or water. Spray for mildews, Manzate and Sulfur, no need to switch to other stuff unless you go over your annual total since vines are not bearing this year.
    As an added twist to what was mentioned above about cutting down to 2 buds during this upcoming winter...
    1. since you are in a northern climate I might suggest you try to pick 2 strong undamaged canes in a good position with respect to the crown and the growing stake and cut each one down to two buds each, which will produce 4 growing shoots.
    2. Later in the spring (June) remove one of the weaker or poorly positioned shoots from each original cane so that you grow 2 distinct trunks originating from different points on the graft.
    3. Let those 2 trunks reach for the sky in 2020 again get rid of weeds and spray Manzate and Sulfur to prevent mildews.
    4. In the winter of 2020/21 cut those 2 trunks back to a point about 6" below your fruiting wire.
    5. In the spring of 2021 in May and June shoot thin (sucker) both trunks so that the top 2 buds on each are the only ones pushing shoots.
    6. By summer of 2021 your vines should have 2 trunks and 4 canes reaching upward through your catch wires looking like your two arms together with each hand making a peace sign. You can allow your canes this year to keep the fruit of say one cluster each....be ready to drop that cluster though in July if the can is struggling to get past the second set of wires.
    7. Now in the winter of 2021/22 you can choose one cane from each trunk and lay it down on the fruiting wire and cut to your desired length, leaving the other 2 canes still standing. If you have had a frigid winter and fear a loss of buds you can double wrap both canes onto the wire, if not a brutal winter then leave the second cane standing until all frost risk has passed. If you get a frost you may want to wrap all 4 canes to the wire.
    8. If frost risk is over and you didn't need the extra canes cut them off so that you leave a 2 bud spur close to the head of the vine...they will become the next year canes that you lay down...
     
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  6. Jun 20, 2019 #6

    BigH

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    There are two general schools of thought for the first year:
    1. Keep one or two shoots. During the summer, remove competing shots and laterals from the shoots that you kept. Force the vine to puts its energy into growing vertically to your fruiting wire. In the winter, prune back to pencil thick wood and continue training in year two.
    2. Let the plant be a bush. Don't do any summer pruning. This approach prioritizes root system development over the structure above ground. In winter, prune back to two buds from the ground and train to the fruiting wire in year 2.
    What you do this summer really depends on which game plan you want to follow. The second one is very popular in these forums, and it is the what I did for most of my vines. I differ a bit in that during the summer, I do tie up the strongest shoots in hopes of getting a decent trunk, but I don't cut off any green. If the bush gives me a good trunk then I keep it during winter pruning, otherwise, I prune back to two buds.

    H
     
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  7. Jun 21, 2019 #7

    balatonwine

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    Just want to point out that the OP is growing Reisling. Not a French-American hybrid that seems the be the main issue in the PP presentation in the suggested link. To that I would add a few considerations:

    - If the vines are grafted, American roots behave differently.than self rooted vines
    - Local soil matters
    - Local climate matters
    - Farming practices matter (e.g. irrigated, or not)

    Slide 14 is not a large sample of many different vines, between the different methods, so may be biased. Thus, anecdotal, not statistical. Just something to consider, as it is not definitive, as presented. Just saying.... :)
     
  8. Jun 21, 2019 #8

    Masbustelo

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    Another thought I've had on all this: Since the vsp wire is much lower to the ground than the twc that many of us use in the US, it should be easier, in theory, to reach the lower wire earlier on. Perhaps that would justify the forced growth pattern of first year pruning in a commercial situation to get the vine into production quicker.
     
  9. Jun 21, 2019 #9

    balatonwine

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    Even with a VSP system as normally required for vinifera such as Riesling, it is recommended to cut the first year growth again to two buds the second year in most cases. But, yes, commercial vineyards may disregard that if the first year can reaches the lower wire.

    Side note: Even in the USA the predominate grape grown is still vinifera, due to its economic importance, even if it is not the most selected variety for hobbyists in the USA (especially in northern or cooler climates).
     
  10. Jun 21, 2019 #10

    Frosty452

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    With all the rain we have been getting some of my vines will reach the bottom wire even with leaving it bush out. My vines are grafted on 101-14 rootstock. I was just out yesterday actually pinching off forming grape clusters. Since I'm not in a hurry to get grapes at the expense of poor vine health I'll let it bush this year.
     

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