Blending grapevines - instructions for pruning

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Wine - Vitis

The vitality and health of grapevines are under a good star if a winemaker grants them a regular pruning. This premise applies to all grapevines, whether they are cultivated for a rich grape harvest or for the magnificent decoration. It is important to educate young vines to the desired habit and to elicit the older sticks every year a wealth of new impulses. So that this goal for hobby gardeners does not remain a pious wish, the following instructions show a practicable way for the correct blending of vines.

When is the best time for pruning?

The central pruning of a grapevine takes place during the winter in the winter. Another argument for this point in time is the deciduous state of the grapevine, so that the basic form is perfectly recognizable. Thus, the time window opens in November and closes in March. To cut your grapevines, ideally choose a frost-free day in overcast, dry weather. The intense rays of the winter sun should not hit the shoots. Particularly vigorous grapevines can be recut in the summer again, especially if the trellis develops an unkempt appearance.

The winter cut

After a vine has undergone the desired upbringing in the first two to three years, the annual pruning follows a regular ritual. If you approach your vine for the winter season, you will be presented with a vast amount of very long, matted last year's shoots. The buds for this year's season are already laid out so that when grapevines are blended, their number and arrangement can be determined exactly. Here's how to do it:
  • The ideal combination of short, medium and long cut is aimed at
  • Cut a part of the grapevines up to 2 buds (called truncated cone)
  • Shorten one part of the shoots down to 4-6 eyes (medium cut)
  • Leave 8-12 buds on the remaining rods (rod cut)
After a successful winter cut, the vine has a maximum of 10 to 20 eyes per square meter of wall surface, harmoniously distributed over short, medium and long grape vines. To reach this goal, on average 80-90 percent of existing buds are cut off. This premise thus requires a hobby gardener to take a courageous approach, because otherwise the vitality of the entire vine is lost.

Tip: The necessary bending and binding of vines on the trellis is more easily done by hand when it is done on a humid-weather day. The rather stubborn tendrils are then much more flexible to handle.

Breaking out

The decisive winter section will be followed by another maintenance measure in May, which focuses on creating room for the development of each individual vine. It is essential that enough of the sun, air and heat reaches a grapevine to thrive as well as hoped. Thus you enter the second phase of the pruning:
  • All the water shoots that sprout from the trunk wood break out
  • From a height of 10 to 30 centimeters, bend your fingers to the side
  • With multiple expulsion from a bud only one left

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Up to a stature height of 30 centimeters, unwanted tendrils can be easily broken out. The minimal wounds heal independently during the summer. If a specimen escaped your attention and became much longer, you can not get around the handle to the vine scissors. In this case, it is advisable to treat the cut with charcoal ash so that pathogens or pests do not misuse them as access to the plant.


A strong-growing vine leaves its winemaker after breaking out only a short respite. Even before the summer cut, the vines require to be nipped. If a vine invests all the energy in the growth in length, flowers and thus the fruits are left behind. The targeted skinning in June creates a juice jam, which promotes flower formation and thus creates the conditions for a lush grape hue. Thats how it works:
  • Underdeveloped shoot tip between forefinger and thumb
  • Turn back and forth a little and take off
  • The formed juice jam promotes the young blossom
With the beginning of the flowering the finishing is finished, because now each vine should be left alone. If you now spew out excess side shoots, you will cause irreparable damage to the plant. Incidentally, it is a completely natural process when the vine branches off two-thirds of the crop after flowering. In this way, a vine selects the number of grapes it can handle.

summer pruning

Hobby gardeners, who cut their vines in the winter, break out in May and break out in June, can experience a summer cut. Ideally, the grape harvest is on the program at this time. If grape vines are used predominantly for decorative purposes, they sometimes catch the eye of some cheeky tendrils that disturb the overall picture. A professional summer cut ensures order. That's how it's done:
  • Disturbing, overhanging tendrils intersect, which do not bear fruiting
  • Carrying vines can be shortened to one grape and four leaves
  • Eliminate all foliage that shadows fruit stalks
The defoliation in the grape area is preferably carried out in several stages, spread over 14 days. In this way, you prevent sunburn.

Tip: In the first three years, no summer cut can be considered for a vine. In this phase, the required green mass forms, as the basis for a good constitution.

Thin out

Respecting the vigor of a grapevine, even a single failure of the winter cut triggers a neglect. Anyone who refrains from cutting his grapevines for several years in a row is not necessarily forced to grub. A professional clearing can still save the plant, which has an almost legendary good nature. This is how the plan succeeds:
  • Shorten all sturdy stems or completely cap
  • Healthy tendrils of the previous year remain on the trunk at a distance of 20-60 centimeters
  • Cut off all miserable, thin lateral shoots
  • Cut down on previous years in the lower region more strongly
  • Water shafts are also suitable for rebuilding

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Happy the hobby winemakers, who still recognize the original form of education in this phase. Where no basic form is visible anymore, experts recommend the free fan shape. If you want to follow this advice, guide new shoots with more than 4 eyes horizontally along the trellis.
In the cultivation of a grapevine, the annual pruning represents the lynchpin. Hobby vintners make the main cut during the winter's safe. In doing so, they consistently pursue the path of parenting that has once been taken. Since grapevines count among the most good-natured fruit trees, they forgive one or the other cutting error. If the winter cut is followed by a professional breaking out in the spring and a summer dip, you will soon be able to confirm from your own experience how uncomplicated grapevines are to be blended.

Video Board: Gardening: Pruning : How to Prune Grape Vines in the 1st Year.

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