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Pruning Grapes

Concord GrapesOne of my favorite things to do when I go to visit Mark's mom is to prune her grapevines.  She has four vines planted far too close together which grow up a netted wire trellis, so I can't prune them in a traditional fashion.  Instead, I play it by ear, trying to prune them so that they'll cover the whole trellis.

So I have to stick to general principles rather than following any hard and fast rules.  Except for the main trunk, a grape vine should be cut back to one year old canes since these are what will produce fruit.  A healthy plant should be cut back so that it has only 40 to 50 buds (from the 200 to 300 buds on the plant before pruning.)

Grapevine before and after pruningThe great thing about grapes is that even though I'm a rank amateur, they always seem to do fine.  The animation shows the grapevines before and after from this winter's pruning while the still photo is fruits which were on the vine this past summer after my last hack job.  I'm very curious to see how well the vines will bear this summer!

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