Pruning and Mulching

Pruning is necessary during both the dormant season and the growing season. Two or three times during the summer, cut nonflowering laterals back to the outside wire on the trellis. Trim flowering shoots back to four to six leaves beyond the last flower.

In the dormant season, remove canes that fruited during the previous season as well as dead, diseased, or tangled canes. Keep the best one-year-old lateral canes that haven't fruited, spaced about a foot apart along the arms. Trim them back to about eight buds.

Plants benefit from a thick layer of organic mulch, which helps control weeds, adds organic matter to the soil, and aids in moisture retention. Keep the trunks of young vines from cracking in cold temperatures by wrapping them with cloth or painting them with white latex paint.

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