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Thread: grapevine help

  1. #9
    SueA's Avatar
    SueA is offline Early Fruiter
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    It took about 3 or 4 years before I got any fruit on our grapevine, I think it's 'Brandt' but not sure. I just cut it back in winter to around about a bud after where the fruit formed on each stem & it grows like wildfire in the spring. I'm now constantly cutting it back to two leaves past where the flowers have formed & cutting out completely any stems which have no flowers at all so that all the energy goes into feeding the fruit. It's worth cutting some of the bigger leaves off too when the fruit is forming so that the sun can get to them to ripen them.
    Into every life a little rain must fall.

  2. #10
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    littlemark is offline Sprouter
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    Our vines established very quickly, producing a tiny crop even in the first year, although it's probably always better to restrict fruiting in the first couple of years to help the vine establish a good root system and stock.

    Pruning a vine hard in the Winter is a good thing since the more vine you leave unpruned, the more fruiting buds you'll have. This will lead to a heavy crop of small grapes which the vine may struggle to ripen properly. This is why the grapes from huge vines grown to give shade are often small and sour.

    But next year's grapes develop from buds which form on this years growth, so if you remove all of this years growth at the end of the year, right down to the permanent stock, you won't get any grapes because the new growth will be vegetative not fruiting.

    Another way of looking at it is if you look at this years growth, at the leaf points (axils) you will see a developing bud. The first pic shows one on a Regent grapevine at the moment. The second is during the Winter following the removal of all growth except two canes which have been bent down onto a wire. These buds in effect contain next years grapes. The job of pruning is to leave the vine with enough, but not too many, of these buds. This will determine the size of next years crop.



    I'm hoping to get our first gallon of wine off these vines this year, if we can get them before the Blackbirds do...

    Mark

  3. #11
    busylizzie is offline Seedling
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    littlemark, that was so helpful, thanks!

    Our grapevine is very big and unruly and I just pruned away last winter with no idea what I was doing! Fortunately, we still seem to have gazillions of grapes on there.

    So, how do you determine how many is too many/enough buds? Would you say a certain number depending on the length/size of vine? I reckon the permanent stock on our vine is around about 6ft vertically then 15ft ish in either direction from there.

  4. #12
    littlemark's Avatar
    littlemark is offline Sprouter
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    It really all depends on what you want from your vine. If your grapes are destined for wine the critical factor is sugar levels. If you visit a vineyard you will see that each vine is quite heavily restricted through pruning, the aim being to give a good crop of decent sized grapes which have a good chance of ripening. To make wine the sugar levels need to be at a maximum level, and this is generally acheived in this country with around 20 buds per vine after pruning.

    If it's for eating, it's probably even more important to restrict the cropping, because not only will you not want to eat unripe grapes, but the size is more important for eating.

    Other factors include grape variety and climate. You'll probably get away with a bigger crop per vine in Somerset, than in Yorkshire.

    It's all about balancing yield against quality of grape. Only experience will tell you what's right. If you find your grapes are small and sour, try reducing the cropping potential through pruning.

    Mark

  5. #13
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    scarey55 is offline Mature Fruiter
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    Littlemark, may I just say thank you for all the advice you have given here - You have made it very easy for a grapevine novice like me to understand and... watch out for the pictures next year
    A garden is a lovesome thing, God wot! (Thomas Edward Brown)


  6. #14
    Biffo17 is offline Germinator
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    Im Back !!!!! lol

    i pruned back the vine to 2 buds in january ,shhots are about 2 feet now any most have tiny buds forming ill try and get some pics up soon ok
    cheers

  7. #15
    littlemark's Avatar
    littlemark is offline Sprouter
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    It's a bit late for this now, but here's my blog entry for grape vine pruning last December. It's a hard concept to explain, and maybe this will help a little.

    Rockingham Forest Cider: Grape Expectations

    We ended up with a precious 6 bottles of surprisingly good red wine from our Rondo and Regent grape vines. I'm hoping a better Summer and slightly higher yields will give us more, and even better quality wine this season.

    Cheers, Mark

  8. #16
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    So excited, we have flower buds on our vine too!
    BumbleB

    I have raked the soil and planted the seeds
    Now I've joined the army that fights the weeds.

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