Pruning grapes on the gazebo


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  2. Basic methods for pruning vines on the gazebo

The formation of growing grape shoots is a mandatory work, without which the grapes will grow chaotically, and its yield will decrease. Unlike wild grapes, which can grow even in rock crevices, cultivated varieties require a special approach.


The “arbor” formation of vines refers to non-covering methods. The vineyard is not isolated for the winter, with the exception of bush varieties that do not climb higher than a meter and a half. In order to protect it from freezing, only warming (hilling) of each vine is carried out. Since grape varieties for covered courtyards and gazebos curl high, it is unrealistic to cover all the main branches of each vine with agrofibre.

However, to prevent diseases and freezing of the upper branches, they are formed every year, cutting off the excess after the end of the growing season.

Pruning grapes on the gazebo

Basic methods for pruning vines on the gazebo

So, the gazebo is built, and the grape bushes are planted. For 2-3 years they reached the roof of the gazebo – and closed most of it. For proper pruning, the shoots use several methods developed by the best winegrowers – true masters of their craft. The best, in their opinion, the formation of vine thickets is cordon: it is specially designed for arbors.

Pruning grapes on the gazebo

Pruning grapes on the gazebo

Vertical cordon

The advantages of the method are high productivity. The disadvantage is that the upper tiers are the most fruitful, which creates difficulties for harvesting without a stepladder. The vertical cordon is formed as follows.

Choose vertically growing shoots – without strong distortions and lush horizontal crowns. Shoots are cut to the 6th bud, counting from the fork, in the first year. In the second year, the resulting child branches are cut to the 3rd kidney. This is how horizontal crowns are created on a vertical vine. For the third and subsequent years, pruning of the vine along the resulting new forks is formed by cutting to the 3rd bud. The long-sleeve formation is repeated in general in the same way, but the pruning can be done further from the nearest branches.

Vertical formation lends itself to alternation. If some shoots did not have time to grow, for example, by 2 m over the previous year, then they can be formed at different levels – for example, on the second and third wire (or reinforcing) horizontals of the gazebo.

Pruning grapes on the gazebo

Horizontal cordon

The horizontal one differs from the vertical cordon in that the vine runs along the lowest thin crossbar connecting the pillars and supports of the gazebo. Branches grow vertically upwards from it, which are not cut: they, in turn, continue to grow, as if separate vertical vines grew instead of them.

In turn, second-order branches growing from vertical side branches are cut to the 5th or 6th bud at each fork. The resulting thickets of grapes look extremely neat and please their owner with a good harvest from year to year.

Pruning grapes on the gazebo

Pruning grapes on the gazebo

The height of the first wire or piece of reinforcement along which the horizontally directed vine runs should not be lower than 30 cm from the ground. The advantage of the horizontal-cordon formation of the vineyard is the ease of covering work, if, upon the onset of abnormally severe cold snaps, the shelter of the vines is still required. Harvesting is easier as fruitful levels begin at a height below 1 m from the ground. The method of forming a horizontal cordon has a step-by-step instruction.

  1. For the first and second year grow a strong, powerful branch at least 2 m long. If short of length, reach this minimum in the second year.
  2. In the second year, tilt the shoot parallel to the ground, forming a smooth fold in the drop zone 40-70 cm high from the ground. Mark the desired kidneys, for example, using a construction marker. The first should be located on a segment that is strictly horizontal and parallel to the ground. The second and subsequent kidneys are located every half a meter from each other. Cut off the rest of the buds to the base – too many branches on a horizontal vine are useless, the vine will not have enough nutrients for all the nutrients. For example, your work sequence is 1st, 6th, 11th, 16th, 21st (etc.) kidneys. The rest must be removed.
  3. Cut off the resulting stepchildren, preventing them from growing. They begin to grow in the spring and continue to appear in the summer. A vine grower’s stepson is a shoot that grows next to the main leaf from a β€œsleeping” bud until this moment, which should have blossomed next year.

Pruning grapes on the gazebo

For the 3rd year, the order of growth of the grape bush is set. The bush-vine reaches the level of abundant fruiting. Do not forget to cut off the tops of the stems that stand straight – they will not grow further, which means they are useless. In the 4th and subsequent years, the vineyard is fully developed.

From this point on, pruning is done if necessary, for example, diseased and dried twigs and leaves are cut, and fruiting with proper and accurate care will achieve almost maximum results.

Pruning grapes on the gazebo

Fan cordon

The essence of the fan cordoning (formation) of the vineyard on the gazebo is as follows.

  1. We grow two oppositely directed horizontal branches – from the trunk of the bush. Branching is carried out under the first horizontal covering of the gazebo. Let the branches grow horizontally.
  2. When the branches have grown, we mark the buds according to the aforementioned progression – β€œone through five”. We cut off the remaining kidneys, except for those marked.
  3. Let the branches grow from the marked buds. We get vertical branches of the second order.
  4. We give each child branch to start branches according to the principle “every third kidney”. The remaining kidneys are removed.

Pruning grapes on the gazebo

Result: three years of active growth – and the bush-vine is formed. The vineyard is fruiting successfully.

Combined cordoning

      The essence of the combined method is as follows.

      1. We let the main shoot grow to a height of 1-1,5 m. This is the level of the third horizontal constriction of the gazebo.
      2. As the shoot grows, we tilt it smoothly. Let’s let him catch the “antennae” for this horizontal. It continues to grow already parallel to the ground.
      3. When the shoot grows, we repeat the marking, cutting off unnecessary buds, as in a horizontal “cordon”. We give the left kidneys to let the child branches up. The rest of the actions for rearranging the buds and shoots do not change.

      Pruning grapes on the gazebo

      The result is that the vineyard successfully bears fruit in the 4th year. You can combine horizontal, vertical and fan cordoning – but the vine bushes should not interfere with each other, closely intertwined with shoots and form a “thicket”.

      Pruning grapes on the gazebo

      Pruning grapes on the gazebo

      For pruning grapes on the gazebo, see the video.

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      Anna Evans


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