Why do I need pruning of the vine and how to do it right? Such questions often arise among people who first started growing grapes. The opinion that the plant itself is able to regulate the number of ovaries and young shoots is erroneous. Violations in agricultural technology can lead to sad consequences. Proper pruning of grapes gives an excellent result:

  • Increasing the size of berries and improving their taste.
  • Even distribution of load on the bush.
  • Rejuvenation of the vine and the formation of new shoots.
  • Increase plant immunity and protection against diseases.
  • Creation of a perennial part of wood in the required volume.
  • Increasing the ability to withstand adverse factors.
  • Full maturation of shoots before winter.

As a result of following all the recommendations, you will be able to grow a healthy bush that can give a generous harvest, and the plant itself will become a decoration of the site.

What tool will you need

To form a bush, you need the only tool — a pruner. It must be very sharp so as not to split the shoots. It is not necessary to buy an expensive professional tool. If you have several bushes, a regular cheap tool is enough. Prepare silicone-coated gardening gloves that can hold the tool securely. They will protect your hands from scratches and calluses. The pruner should be positioned so that the thin cutting blade is on the side of the part you want to leave.

Let’s understand the terms

There are many articles on the net, but they can be difficult to understand for a beginner. Complex terminology does not allow you to immediately understand the topic, as a result, the data obtained cannot be applied in practice. What do the names mean:

  • A sleeve is 3-5 main shoots (trunk) coming from the base of the bush. Fruit arrows and substitution knots are formed on them. All other shoots at the bottom of the bush are broken out.
  • A replacement knot is a shoot on a sleeve with two buds, one of which will become a fruit arrow, the second a new replacement knot. If one of the buds does not grow, it is simply not taken into account when forming a bush.
  • The fruit arrow is the shoot of the last year, on which buds and ovaries will form. After fruiting, it is completely cut out.
  • Pruning is pruning aimed at creating sufficient nutrition for fruit growth by removing excess green shoots.

Spring pruning grapes

Pruning is carried out only in early spring, when the air temperature does not exceed +5 degrees. At this time, there is still no active sap flow, the vine will not “cry”, and the wounds will have time to dry.

First you need to remove the shelter and let the bush ventilate, dry slightly. Only after that carefully inspect the vine. Pruning rules differ for grapes wintering under cover and without cover. The fact is that autumn shearing is contraindicated for wintering grapes without shelter.

Sanitary pruning

This is the easiest item for a beginner gardener. Dry, broken and diseased and rotten shoots can be identified visually, cut them ruthlessly to a healthy part.

IMPORTANT! On young branches, always make the cut oblique, so that the higher part is located above the upper bud. This will prevent the juice from getting into the eye. On thick branches, the cut is always placed at a right angle to reduce the area of ​​the wound. Above the kidney, you need to leave a stump of at least 2-3 centimeters. Formative pruning of grapes in spring

First you need to get rid of young fattening shoots. They do not participate in fruiting, give a large load on the root system. Remove all last year’s branches thicker than 1.2 cm. The bush will become lighter, harvesting will be simplified.

All side shoots on the sleeves must be put in order, otherwise the flowering will be chaotic, rare or, on the contrary, too abundant. If pruning has not been carried out before, the bush is young enough, the shoots are cut to 5-17 buds, depending on the age of the bush and the diameter of the sleeve. From the lower bud, the shoot will become a replacement knot, the rest will be the fruit part, which will need to be cut in the fall, after harvesting.

If the bush grows and bears fruit for more than a year, a simple rule should be followed. The replacement knot, on which only 2 buds remain, should be located next to the sleeve, and the fruit arrow a little further so that in the fall it can be cut with the top of the knot. This procedure must be carried out annually, is the key to the harvest. In order for the sap flow to be free and the fruit arrow to receive enough nutrition, always make cuts on one side.

When and how to prune grapes

The technology and timing of pruning vary, but general rules still exist. Let’s start with spring pruning. It is carried out during the period when the snow has already melted, and the plant has not yet woken up. The exact timing of grape pruning depends on the climate and weather, but usually it is the second half of March — the beginning of April.

In summer, when the clusters begin to grow, «chasing» is carried out. This is a simple but necessary procedure. Cut off all stepchildren so that only two leaves remain. Break off or pinch the tops of all shoots. Growth restriction allows the wood to fully mature. This procedure is carried out only on healthy bushes in moderately warm or cool weather.

Pruning grapes in autumn is carried out two weeks after leaf fall. At this time, you can form a bush and remove all unnecessary. The rules are the same as spring pruning, but they only apply to varieties that are sheltered for the winter. If the bush is fully formed, in the spring you can limit yourself to sanitary pruning. A nice bonus is the ability to easily lay the vine under cover for the winter. Extra branches will not create problems.

IMPORTANT! Never leave cut plant parts on the site. They can develop spores of fungi, pests. Waste from healthy plants can be composted. Anything that shows signs of disease must be disposed of.

The main adviser in the care of grapes is experience. Within two or three years, you will know exactly when to prune grapes based on the condition of the vine and the weather. This process is difficult only for a beginner, an experienced gardener can easily cope with all aspects of agricultural technology.

But I would like to remind you that few horticultural crops need such careful care as grapes. And there are no optional ones in the list of care activities: all of them must be completed, moreover, following the specified sequence. In order not to miss anything important, it is convenient to use a special calendar. It specifies the priority procedures and the approximate time frame for their implementation.


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