Features of Grapevine Pruning in Autumn

Grapevine-Pruning-in-Autumn Pruning

Pruning grapes in the fall is a must for the care of this plant. The dream of every gardener is a beautiful and well-groomed vineyard. After all, grapes play the role of not only a garden crop, but in some ways and ornamental plant. On the other hand, grapes make every effort to grow as it pleases. It constantly forms a new vine, which thickens the shrub and does not allow it to develop normally. Therefore, the plant needs annual pruning.

But carrying out this procedure, it is necessary to know how to properly prune grapes. After all, when the gardener severely denudes the branches, the grapes can freeze in winter, and if you feel sorry for the vine, the plant will not give the proper harvest. About how the fall pruning of grapes should take place, you will learn from this article. In its own way, all the information stated, will be an instruction for beginners, who, trying to prune grapes, make a lot of mistakes.


Advantages of Fall Pruning

In the fall period, vineyard pruning is carried out on fruit-bearing bushes. It is this timing of pruning that makes it easier to cover grapes for the winter in order to protect them from frost. In addition, thanks to the formation of the vineyard in autumn, the buds open earlier, before the phase of sap movement, and you can expect an earlier harvest.

It is advisable to prune a vineyard that is less than three years old in the spring. Quite often a side effect of spring pruning is the desiccation of the vines and the death of the plant. If you prune an older, intensively fruiting vineyard at this time, you can observe the so-called “weeping of the vines”, which leads to souring of the buds and stops their blossoming. Autumn pruning, on the other hand, avoids unwanted problems with intense sap production.

Why to prune grapes in autumn

One of the features of grapes is the so-called polarity of this plant. This phenomenon is manifested in the fact that the growth of the bush slows down, reducing the formation of new vines. No new buds are formed at the bottom of the bush, and young shoots begin to grow only on last year’s branches.

As a result, the plant increases in size while reducing its yield. After all, all the nutrients that should be aimed at forming a fruit ovary go to growing useless vines.

In order to prevent this from happening, grapes must be pruned regularly. In addition, by pruning the vineyard in the fall, you can avoid such an unpleasant phenomenon as “weeping vines” in the spring.

The problem of “vine weeping” is that as a result of spring pruning, sap begins to be abundantly released from the cuts, which floods the swelling buds and does not allow them to blossom.

Terms of pruning grapes in autumn: when to prune correctly

Standard terms of vineyard pruning directly depend on the variety of grapes, as well as climatic or weather conditions in the region of cultivation. For uncovered culture, it is allowed to carry out autumn pruning at any time of the winter-fall period, but before the beginning of active vegetation.

Type of fall pruning
Timing of pruning Features of pruning
Preliminary pruning
Pruning is done in the first ten days of October, before the first frosts.
All immature, green shoots should be pruned. Those which are bright brown or dark brown in colour and which produce a slight crackling sound when slightly bent should not be removed
Basic, or shaping, pruning
In the middle to last days of October, just after the first frost, a couple of weeks after pruning
The shrub is inspected and its condition is assessed. Then the bush is lightened and the dry, broken, too thin, insufficiently matured, improperly located shoots are removed. The most fully developed fruit vines should be cut back to their arrows.

The right tools for pruning

If it is necessary to prune young, not older than three years, grapes, it is necessary to use a standard garden pruner. The same tool is used to trim the bunches of grapes during harvesting.

For the pruning of older plants will be required:

  • special knives – serpets;
  • garden pruners;
  • grape saws or hacksaws.

Pruning shears are used for pruning annual and biennial vines no thicker than 1.5 cm, as well as for thin sleeves. For an even cut, pruning shears equipped with two blades are used.

For pruning perennial vines no thicker than 8 cm, beam saws should be used. Thicker shoots are cut with a hacksaw. Very convenient in the work is a lopper, which is a kind of pruner and allows you to remove branches in hard-to-reach places. All tools involved in pruning work should be sharpened and clean.

How to prune grapes in the fall (pruning scheme)

For those who do not yet know how to properly prune grapes in the fall, we offer a simplified pruning scheme. Pruning grapes in the fall for beginners is carried out in two steps.

  1. First step. Before pruning grapes for winter in October, in early September prepare for autumn formative pruning. It is necessary to remove on each perennial shoot unnecessary green growths below the first wire, stretched at a height of half a meter from the ground. On those shoots that appeared on the arms above the lower wire, chamfering, i.e. trimming 10-15% of the entire length of the growth, should be carried out. Lateral shoots on the shoots are shortened to 2-3 leaves. This completes the first preparatory stage.
  2. The second stage. Two to three weeks after leaf fall, a fruiting link is formed, which should consist of a replacement twig and a fruit arrow. Start pruning with more frost-resistant varieties. Varieties with low cold tolerance are cut last.

Select two developed shoots at the height of the lower two wires of the trellis, the lower of which should be on the outside of the sleeve growing at a slant. Cut this shoot under the substitution twig, leaving no more than three eyes from the base. The next shoot, growing above and on the opposite side of the replacement twig, is trimmed under the fruit arrow, leaving five eyes on it:

  • five eyes if the shoot is 5 mm in diameter;
  • six eyes if the diameter of the shoot is 6 mm;
  • seven to eight eyes if the shoot is 7 mm in diameter;
  • eight to nine eyes if the shoot is eight mm in diameter;
  • nine to eleven eyes if 9 mm in diameter;
  • eleven to thirteen eyes at 10 mm in diameter;
  • twelve to fourteen at 11 mm in diameter;
  • thirteen to fifteen at 12 mm diameter.
Jonathan Harvey
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