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Pruning Concord Grape Vines

Posted by cboy (My Page) on
Sun, Oct 6, 13 at 23:35

I've read were we should prune grape vines 75 to 90%
and only new kanes (vines) have grapes. My question is do the new kanes (vines) only have grapes on the 2nd year ? My one old grape vine, I prune to a 6 ft. stump you might say last winter. This year it grew more vines than I new what to do with. It had about 20 clusters. Not many grapes. I planted 5 more last April 2013. I have many long vines, maybe 16 feet long. Should I leave these vines to have grapes next year ?
In other words do new vines only have grapes, when does this happen ? The first year or the 2nd year.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Pruning Concord Grape Vines

It took me a long time before I really could wrap my mind around the proper pruning for a grape vine and I'm supposed to be a gardener by profession. LOL. There are two reasons to prune grapes and one is to establish the proper structure of your vine as it matures and the other is to increase your fruit yield and that involves leaving a certain number of buds per branch, and not allowing it to go wild with foliage. No vine on a grape should have been allowed to get sixteen feet long. If you planted five vines last april, the first year or two the pruning should be directed to how you wish to trellis it. You will be building the architecture of the vine properly so that you can keep it under control for years and allow each branch of it to get the proper amount of sun exposure. Your old plant had too much energy put into branching and foliage to produce much of anything. You will have to selectively remove a lot of these as you wire it up to a trellis or support and leave only the basic branches you wish to work with. Then come February, you'll do your final prune and that involves choosing a new leader branch for each old branch and then pruning back each side shoot to a certain number of buds. It's not nearly as complicated as it sounds and YouTube has some really excellent walk-throughs you will be able to understand as the visuals are there so you can see exactly what they mean as their talking. Have a look at some put out by legitimate sources and then come back if you have questions.


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RE: Pruning Concord Grape Vines

  • Posted by cboy Pruning Grapes (My Page) on
    Thu, Oct 10, 13 at 14:49

I've been slow to reply because I've been working on a man's 3 computers.
I only prune in the Winter, right ? I'm sending a picture of my new grapes that were planted in April 2013. Their are 4 at this location. They even had some grapes, thought not many. They really grew fast. They were advertised as being 2 year of sets when i bought them.
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You said = You will have to selectively remove a lot of these as you wire it up to a trellis or support and leave only the basic branches you wish to work with. Then come February, you'll do your final prune and that involves choosing a new leader branch for each old branch and then pruning back each side shoot to a certain number of buds.
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Can pruning be done in the summer ? Won't they bleed a lot ?
This picture is from the back so as to show the grape vines better.


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RE: Pruning Concord Grape Vines

Front View of new 2013 planted grapes.


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RE: Pruning Concord Grape Vines

You've got some great growth, good for you. I'm going to link to a site from Ohio State University I found most helpful in training vines. It only shows one method of training a vine, but there are several common ones. One really spends the first year or two after planting getting their vine getting it's basic structure on the trellis. It's important to do it right when you set it up. It makes the pruning you'll do each year much easier, and help you see where you'll need to do the cuts. So I can link them, I'll post another response to a different university's site because they show you other methods to train your vines and you can pick the one out you think will work best for your trellis and needs.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pruning Backyard Grapevines in the First Three Years


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More on setting up your vine's structure

Here's the second easily followed presentation.

When the vines go dormant, is when I'd start working on the structural aspect to give it good bones. The first summer after you have done this, you may have a small production of fruit, but you'll be good to go after that and it's easy rolling.

The pruning I do from here on out is strictly for production and to maintain the proper amount of foliage to fruit production and finding the leader for next year. I just went through a two year process to remedy letting my vines go wild. I feel your pain on this. But this summer's production was nice and the pruning this February for next year's crop will be a no-brainer and take me very little time.

I'll see if I can find a good video on you tube for the normal pruning you will do, but first you need to get your vines where you need them to be on your trellis.

Here is a link that might be useful: Home Fruit Production: Grape Training Systems


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RE: Pruning Concord Grape Vines

  • Posted by cboy zone 7 (My Page) on
    Fri, Oct 11, 13 at 22:17

I used your last link and it was great help. Maybe I'll learn someday. I may need to add more frame to each end. I've already spent about $175.00 on these 4 vines. I have 2 more I didn't show with a different type of frame.
Thanks for your help, it was much needed.


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RE: Pruning Concord Grape Vines

I recently spent some time in France visiting vineyards and I was surprised they do the vast majority of their pruning using the cane method as opposed to the cordon method. The more research I read on this the more I have discovered that the cordon system is used mainly to save on skilled labor expense. But it encourages more disease. I am going to switch to cane pruning on all my vines.

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden For Nutrition


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RE: Pruning Concord Grape Vines

One must consider the varieties of grapes when choosing their method of training. French grapes/wine grapes grow differently, have a different orientation on their branching, and have different cultural methods/diseases/requirements and pruning. Cboy, concord grapes are very forgiving, you can even train them along a wire fence. If you have the structure strong enough to support the vine with it's more about how you place it on the trellis to give the leaves adequate light and air circulation. I use a method called bud counting when I do my pruning (february here). One does not want to prune too early in winter. If you have unseasonably warm days, you may force bud growth and then have them killed by late freezes. Were you going for the vines to be overhead like a pergola? It can be done that way and will work with concords.


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RE: Pruning Concord Grape Vines

Were you going for the vines to be overhead like a pergola? It can be done that way and will work with concords.

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I usually learn by trial and error. My old grape vine is over 6 feet tall and vine draging the ground. Some of the vines I have over head on a ladder type trellis. It's close to a new grape I planted. The over head frame work for these 2 is about 16 feet long. I don't need a lot of grape just for the jelly I can. I gave away a lot of tomatoes and some grapes in the past.


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