Proper pruning of the vine is the key to a good harvest and normal growth of the vine. Many inexperienced growers do not know what pruning is and how to properly carry it out.
What is pruning?
Pruning refers to the actions that are carried out in order to shorten or remove one-year-old shoots, as well as two- and three-year-old shoots as necessary, and form the desired shape of the vine.
In different age periods of grapes, pruning has its own characteristics.
- Young bushes are considered 3 to 5 years old. Pruning of such grapes begins from the first year of planting. Its main goal is the formation of the main sleeve of the bush.
- Adults fruit-bearing plants are pruned annually to give shape to the bush, as well as to increase yields.
- Old plants are pruned to prolong the fruiting period. In this case, a shorter pruning is carried out than in previous periods.
- In autumn, pruning of the vine can begin after harvest, after 10-14 days. During this time, the plant will have time to restore its strength after fruiting.
It is worth paying attention to the recommendations for autumn pruning.
The vine should be cut to living wood – you can easily recognize it by its light green color, you must make sure that 1,5-2 cm of the shoot remains above the bud. The timing of pruning depends on the region where the grapes are grown, and on weather conditions.
First, a preliminary pruning of the vine is carried out. During this period, green shoots that are fully ripe are removed. They can be identified by their green tint. Shoots that have a dark brown or brown tint cannot be touched, this may further adversely affect the growth of the bush and its yield.
Most often, this procedure is carried out in the first decade of October.
A little later, around the third decade of October, the main pruning of the vine is carried out. After a thorough inspection of the culture, thin, dry, as well as immature shoots are removed.
Growers distinguish three main types of pruning:
- sanitary or restorative – it is carried out in the spring, at this time, diseased, damaged, as well as twigs frozen over the winter are removed;
- rejuvenating pruning it is mainly carried out in the fall, when the first signs appear that the vine is old, in this case, either individual shoots are cut off, or the bush is completely removed, leaving 15-20 cm of the main skeleton on the ground;
- forming pruning begin to carry out already on a two-year-old bush.
Correct pruning technique:
- on the vine leave from 7 to 12 eyes;
- one-year-old shoots are cut off at the very base, leaving a small stump of about 1 cm;
- the cut angle should correspond to 90 degrees, in this case the wound will heal faster;
- all diseased, weak and deformed shoots must be removed;
- it is recommended to leave only the vine, the average diameter of which is 6-7 cm.
Pruning a vine is a rather serious procedure., which can stress grapes. To avoid this situation after pruning, you need to follow some agrotechnical rules for caring for the plant:
- be sure to remove the young growth, as it grows quickly, and the vine can become very intertwined, this will lead to thickening of the bush, then to diseases, lack of sunlight and a drop in yield;
- it is necessary to loosen the soil near the bushes – this will provide oxygen access to the root system;
- also need do not forget about the treatment of plants from diseases and pests;
- timely and correct fertilize and water the plant;
- in a zone of risky agriculture, where the sun stays for a very short time, it is necessary to remove large sheets that obscure the brushes of berries from the sun and slow down the ripening of the fruit.
For a long time growing a grape crop, gardeners have developed various schemes and methods for forming a bush. It mainly depends on the characteristics of the variety and on the weather and climatic conditions of the region where the grapes are grown.
This method of forming a bush is different in that the plant has several sleeves, that is, several perennial shoots extend from the trunk.
The length of the sleeves can vary, so there are long-sleeved fans (they can be from 60 to 100 cm) and short-sleeved ones (their height is from 30 to 40 cm).
Short-sleeved fans are much rarer, as they are mainly used in lowland areas. Long-sleeved fans are much more popular, they are very often used in the design of arbors, arches and pergolas.
The sleeves on the bush can go either in one or both directions.
For covering grape varieties, a one-sided plant formation scheme is most often used, which greatly facilitates the shelter process. The number of sleeves should not exceed three or four pieces.
There are different schemes for the formation of sleeves.
A one-sided long-sleeved scheme was developed by Sh. N. Huseynov. Most often it is formed in three tiers. The standard fan is also a very popular pruning method; this scheme is used in regions with favorable climatic conditions. Bushes formed by this method are problematic to cover for the winter.
Step-by-step instructions for the formation of grape culture by the fan method:
- during the first growing season in spring young grapes are not pruned, in the fall they choose the strongest of the shoots and cut off the top of it, leaving 2 to 4 buds on it;
- during the second growing season two young shoots that have formed are cut off: 2-3 buds are left on one of them, the second will be long so that clusters form on it;
- for the third growing year sleeves begin to form, their number will depend on the number of strong shoots, the rest of the shoot must be tied to the lowest crossbar.
The next spring, the shoots are also cut off.
The inner shoots should be shorter than the outer ones.
For fruiting, links are created, for this the lower base must be cut into two eyes, and the upper vine is cut into 5-6 eyes.
The cordon method of vine formation is carried out mainly on high trunks and is used in those regions where grapes do not require shelter. The main feature of this scheme is that the formation of cordons occurs over several years.
Cordons are shoots that look like elongated cords and hang down under their own weight.
Options for such formation can be different:
- on a high trunk;
- return cordon;
- vertical cordon;
- beam shape and others.
The pergola method involves the growth of a bush along the perimeter of the entire area of uXNUMXbuXNUMXbthe arbor. In this case, the fruit links are evenly distributed over the support. Such bushes have a lot of wood, so it is much more convenient and easier to care for them. The vine formed by the gazebo method is easier to lay on the ground and cover.
The most popular formation is a stemless four-armed fan.
This method of forming a bush is considered one of the easiest and fastest for beginner growers. With proper agrotechnical care, after three growing seasons, the crop gives a high yield. Such bushes have from 4 to 6 sleeves, their length ranges from 40 to 65 cm or more. The shape of the grape bush resembles a fan. In this method, one or two branches are left for replacement.
In order for the four-arm vine to be properly formed, it needs to be trimmed properly for the first few years. Let’s take a step-by-step look at the basic rules for pruning during this period.
First growing season
The main task of this period is to grow two well-developed shoots on a young grape bush.
In the spring of the first year, when planting a seedling at ground level, you need to leave the last eye, everything else must be removed.
Agrotechnical care during this period must meet the following requirements.
- Watering. After planting, the seedling must be watered 2 more times, the interval between watering should not exceed 10-14 days. One bush will need 3-4 buckets of non-cold water. Watering the grapes during this period is necessary, even if it rains. Further watering is done as needed. The last watering during the first growing season should be done in the first decade of August. Watering, which is done later, adversely affects the maturation of the vine.
- Removing excess shoots. As mentioned earlier, during the first growing season, the task is to grow two good shoots. Sometimes it happens that 2-3 eyes can give a lot of shoots, if they are not removed in time, then the grapes will become like a broom. Of the grown shoots, you need to leave the 2 most successful ones, the remaining shoots are removed when they reach a length of 3-5 cm.
- In September, it is necessary to carry out minting, as well as monitor the appearance of stepchildren, and if their number is exceeded, then there is a need to remove them. In the same month, the developing left vines are attached to the support.
- Pruning of the vine is carried out at the end of October, and in some regions – in November, leaving 3 buds on the shoot. Then the plant is prepared for shelter for the winter – a cap is made from plastic bottles and young grapes are covered with it. After that, the grapes are watered and covered with peat, sawdust or needles. Some people use land for this purpose. It is recommended to make a mound above the head of the bush to a height of about 25 cm.
Second growing season
The task is to grow four well-developed shoots, they will become the main arms.
At the height of the lower wire attached to the support, the thickness of the formed vine should be about 8 mm. Mature branches of the vine are easily recognizable by their characteristic crackling when bending and bright color.
The unripe vine is cold to the touch and has no elasticity.
The main work carried out during the second growing season.
- In the second decade of April, the grape bush is supposed to open. Last year’s hole above the bush needs to be restored. This is necessary in order for the root system to strengthen and further develop in the lower horizons. If you need a short pruning, this will be much easier. In the future, this will facilitate the process of sheltering the plant for the winter.
- In order for the main shoots to develop well, stepchildren must be removed from them during the entire period of the second growing season. This will help protect the sleeves from cutting wounds.
- In the third decade of August, shoot growth usually slows down, this is the best time for chasing shoots.. The top of the shoot is cut off to the first well-developed leaf. Determining the right time for this procedure is easy – when growth slows down, the upper part of the shoot straightens.
- Foliar top dressing is good during this growing season.. They are held once a week. Two weeks after the first frost or at the end of October, pruning is recommended. To do this, the sleeves must be tilted to the lower wire (angle of inclination 45) and at a height of 15 cm, cut the vine. The same actions are carried out with the second sleeve, but the trimming is done at a height of 21 cm.
- Shelter follows the same pattern.as in the first growing year.
Third growing season
The main goal of the third growing season is to grow two vines on each arm.
- After the winter opening, the vine must be tied to the bottom wire of the trellis. Shoots should be placed in the form of a fan, the angle of inclination is approximately 40-45 degrees.
- During the beginning of the growth of young shoots, it is recommended to leave no more than three shoots on each sleeve, the lower shoots are removed. Throughout the entire period, all new shoots must also be broken off. The formed sleeves should remain “bare” to the bottom wire of the trellis. Thus, during the first growing season, 8 to 12 shoots should grow.
- In this growing season, the first fruiting begins. In order not to overload the plant, it is recommended to leave one cluster on the shoots.
- It is during this period that the process of formation of the fruit link begins.. In the third decade of October, the lower mature vine on the sleeve is cut short, leaving only three or four buds. This will become the future replacement knot, which will be located on the outside. The second vine should be cut no more than 6 buds. This will later become a fruit arrow.
Fourth growing season
If the gardener had no problems during the three previous stages, then by the beginning of the current growing season, the plant will have the desired shape.
After winter disclosure, it is desirable to tie up the grapes.
Sleeves are tied at an angle of 40-45 to the bottom wire. During fruiting, as in the previous period, the bush should not be overloaded. In autumn, a classic pruning is carried out, following the recommendations of the second growing season.
Consider climate and season
Very often, growers wonder when it is better to prune – in spring or autumn. The best time for this procedure is autumn. This can be explained by several reasons that are the advantages of autumn pruning:
- many grape varieties require shelter for the winter, and the pruned vine facilitates this process;
- after autumn pruning, the “wounds” of the grapes heal much faster, in the future this affects the good fruiting of the bush.
Pruning is also carried out in the spring, but this is already associated with some risks. Spring pruning is dangerous because sap flow has begun and, together with the juice from the “wound”, the microelements and useful substances necessary for plants will come out.
Spring pruning is recommended only on those bushes that are not older than 3 years.
Very often this is dangerous for the bush because the vine can dry out and later the grapes can die completely.. If you prune a plant that is more than 3 years old, acidification of the kidneys may occur. From this we can conclude that the best time for pruning grapes is autumn, since with the cessation of sap flow, many negative consequences can be avoided.
In any case, In order for the bushes not to suffer, they need to be cut correctly. For pruning young bushes, a regular pruner is used. For too neglected grapes, either a hacksaw or a pruner is most often used, which is designed specifically for delimbing trees. In order not to infect the plant with any disease during pruning, the tools must be disinfected and sharpened well.
Autumn pruning is carried out in order to preserve and give the desired shape to the bush, remove old, fruit-bearing vines, evaluate and improve the general condition of the plant.
In summer, diseased shoots are most often cut off.
Attention – on the variety
During the formation of the bush, attention must be paid to the plant variety. Not every variety will do well with different shaping methods.
It is also necessary to know and take into account the normalization of the number of shoots.
Many young growers, in order to get a bountiful harvest, leave a lot of shoots on the bush, this becomes their main mistake.
Lament of the vine
Weeping grapes is called the flow of juice from cuts and wounds. The flow of juice in the spring is quite normal. This indicates that the bush is alive. The amount of apiary most often depends on the size of the bush and the development of the root system. The average duration of the juice outflow process lasts about 25-30 days.
In order for the plant not to lose a lot of life-giving moisture, you need to properly prune.