Growing Grapes and
Pruning - A How to Guide with Images and Instructions
grapes for shade, eating or making wine? Need
images for pruning grapes? Learn how to grow grapes and the skill of
pruning grape vines for a successful harvest.
One of the surest of fruit crops is the grape, a crop each year being
reasonably certain after the third year from the time of setting the
vines; and the good amateur kinds are numerous.
looking at growing grapes, the
grape does well on any soil that is under good cultivation and well
drained. A soil with considerable clay is better under these
circumstances than a light, sandy loam. The exposure should be to the
sun; and the place should allow cultivation on all sides.
Growing Grapes and Pruning Grapes
growing grapes and thinking of planting, 1- or 2-year-old
vines should be used, being set either
in the fall or early spring. At planting, the vine is cut back to 3 or
4 eyes, and the roots are well shortened in.
The planting hole in which the
plant is to be set should be large enough to allow a full spreading of
the roots. If the season is dry, a mulch of coarse litter may be spread
around the vine. If all the buds start, the strongest one or two may be
allowed to grow. The grape canes arising from these buds should be
allowed to grow through the season; or in large plantations the
first-year canes may be allowed to lie on the ground.
second year of growing grapes, one cane should be cut back to the same
number of eyes as
the first year. After growth begins in the spring, two of the strongest
buds should be allowed to remain. These two canes now arising may be
grown to a single stake through the second summer, or they may be
spread horizontally on a trellis. These are the canes that form the
permanent arms or parts of the vine. From them start the upright shoots
which, in succeeding years of growing grapes, will bear the fruits.
pruning grapes choose
4 strong canes for next season's crop.
off all other canes.
the 4 canes remaining now choose 2 that are the strongest and cut off
the other 2.
tie the 2 canes to the trellis wire. You may need to tie them down.
order to understand the pruning of grapes, one must fully grasp this
principle: Fruit is borne on wood of the present season,
which comes from wood of the previous season.
illustrate: A growing shoot, or cane, of 2010 makes
buds. In 2011 a
shoot arises from each bud; and near the base of these shoots the
grapes are borne (1 to 4 clusters on each).
every bud on the 2010
shoot may produce shoots or canes in 2011, only the strongest of these
new canes will bear fruit. The skilled grape-grower can tell by the
looks of his cane (as he prunes it in winter) which buds will give rise
to the grape-producing wood the following season. The larger and
stronger buds usually give best results; but if the cane itself is very
big and stout, or if it is very weak and slender, he does not expect
good results from any of its buds. A hard, well-ripened cane the
diameter of a man's little finger is the ideal size.
principle when growing grapes and pruning that needs to be mastered is
this:A vine should bear
only a limited
number of clusters, - say from 30 to 80. A shoot bears clusters near
its base; beyond these clusters the shoot grows on into a long, leafy
cane. An average of two clusters may be reckoned to a shoot. If the
vine is strong enough to bear 60 clusters, 30 good buds must be left at
the pruning (which is done from December to late February in the
essential operation of pruning grape vines,
therefore, is each
cut back a limited number of good canes to a few buds, and to cut off
entirely all the remaining canes or wood of the previous season's
a cane is cut back to 2 or 3 buds, the stub-like part which
remains is called a spur. Present systems, however, cut each cane back
to 8 or 10 buds (on strong varieties), and 3 or 4 canes are left, - all
radiating from near the head or trunk of the vine.
will notice when
growing grapes that the top of the vine
does not grow bigger from year to year, after it has once covered the
trellis, but is cut back to practically the same number of buds each
year. Since these buds are on new wood, it is evident that they are
each year farther and farther removed from the head of the
order to obviate this difficulty, new canes are taken out each year or
two from near the head of the vine, and the 2-year- or 3-year-old wood
is cut away.
Growing Grapes and Training Grapes
Growing grapes in Italy is a
major part of the agricultural industry
When growing grapes the
training of grapes is a different matter. A dozen different systems
of grape training may be practiced on the same trellis and from the
same style of pruning, - for training is only the disposition or
of the parts.
arbors, it is best to carry one permanent arm or trunk from each root
over the framework to the peak. Each year the canes are cut back to
short spurs (of 2 or 3 buds) along the sides of this trunk.
growing grapes they are set from 6 to 8 feet apart in rows which are 8
to 10 feet
apart. A trellis made of 2 or 3 wires is the best support. Slat
too much wind and' blow down. Avoid stimulating manures. In very cold
climates, the grape vines may be taken off the trellis in early winter
and laid on the ground and lightly covered with earth. Along the
of home lots, where grapes are often planted, little is to be expected
in the way of fruit because the ground is not well tilled.
Growing Grapes and Diseases
Unfortunately growing grapes means also fighting against disease. The
grape is subject to many insects and diseases, some of which are very
destructive. The black-rot is the most usual trouble.
produce bunches of high quality and free from rot and frost injury, grapes
are sometimes bagged. When the grapes are about half
the bunch is covered with a grocer's manila bag. The bags remain until
the fruit is
ripe. The grapes usually mature earlier in the bags. The top of the bag
is split, and the flaps are secured over the branch with a pin.