Training and pruning

the training and pruning of grapes are matters of critical importance. The main purposes of training are to keep the large, fast-growing vines under control, to facilitate care and harvesting, and to expose all parts of the plants to the sun. The purposes of pruning are to maintain vigorous growth, to provide new canes for the next year, and to limit the number of fruit-producing buds so that the vines do not produce too much small fruit of inferior quality.

Various training systems are used for all three types of grapes.

American bunch grapes Four-Arm Kniffin system This is the most popular method of training American bunch grapes since it gives good production and requires little summer tying of the vines.

The trellis required consists of 4-6 in posts and galvanized steel wires. Space the posts 16 ft apart. Sink the end posts 3 ft into the ground and brace them with diagonal struts or guy wires. Sink the intermediate posts 2 ft. The posts normally extend 5 ft above ground,

The first year

The first year

Grape Trellis Kniffen System

2 In early spring, plant the vine to the nursery depth between posts in prepared ground. Firm the soil and water well. Cut back the vine to one cane and eight good buds.

3 For both pruning systems, allow one rod to develop. Pinch back to one leaf any other shoots. Leave two good buds (Kniffen) or three (Guyot).

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