Even if you've never planted a vine before, you should be able to handle pruning by following our tips. Pruning the bush does not require much effort, but it guarantees you a good harvest.
What you need to know before forming a bush
Grapes are liana, in the wild, they let out meter-long whips, clinging to any support, most often to trees. Its main task is to reach for the sun, accumulate nutrients, and produce fruits for reproduction in the fall. Each cultivated bush on your site secretly dreams of stretching up to ten meters up, hanging several bunches somewhere under the roof. His plans do not include a duty to supply you with crops.
A healthy plant has a tremendous power of regeneration, it can and should be cut mercilessly, otherwise you will not get high yields - in a thickened bush, the berries will be crushed, and only climb from a ladder behind the brushes.
Video about the features of pruning grapes
Remember, no pity - just a clear understanding of what you need from him.
Let's take a close look at the wood of your plant. Here you need to be able to distinguish between its three types: summer, biennial and perennial shoots. Summer - green, bearing leaves, flowers, brushes. Biennial - vines, chocolate shade, summer shoots grow from them with harvest. Perennial - branches, dark, bark is often fringed. The branches accumulate nutrients for the establishment of the future harvest. No special fruit twigs like apple trees. Any green shoot can play both a vegetative and a productive role with equal success. It all depends on the formation.
Now let's figure out what you have. Are your winters cold? How much space can you devote to a vineyard? Do you need a vine for aesthetics or purely for gastronomic purposes? The turn has come to understand all the nuances of the formation.
Photo of grapes
Various types of shaping
You live where winter frosts do not pose a particular danger, or you have a frost-resistant variety. Then choose a stem. Initially, it requires a little more diligence, more space, but the harvest will bring incomparably larger than other forms. This is due to the large supply of nutrients from the tree trunk, with which you will feed your grapes. Branches from it grow at the height of human growth, do not need garters to the trellises. It has been proven that standard forms are much less affected by diseases. The stem is beautiful, hardy, harvestable, but intolerant of frost, requires a lot of space.
All other forms are standard-free, allowing us to shelter our green pets for the winter. It already matters how much space you want to define for one plant.
Photo of the standard grape formation
Takes up the least space. In fact, this is a branch that regularly produces fruit-bearing vines. The sleeve is simple to shape, but, not having a sufficient supply of nutrients, it is quickly depleted, which requires frequent replacement with a new plant. Sleeve forms do not live for more than ten years. In addition, if the stem requires a lot of work at the initial stage, then the sleeve will have to be pinched constantly, otherwise it will quickly overgrow.
It is a bush with several arms. Usually there are five to six branches on different sides from the root. The yield increases, the space occupied by one bush increases, and the service life of one plant increases. The fan has a greater supply of nutrients, has a great immunity, and is not as delicate as the sleeve.
In fact, the cordon is a bole that runs along the ground, like a stanza form. This grape bush formation is very close to the stem, but requires more maintenance. Due to its proximity to the soil, the cordon is more prone to diseases. But it is more winter-hardy, it can hide, but it also takes up a lot of space. Slightly less yielding. But among the winter-hardy forms, this is the most productive. Cordons are one-sided and two-sided, that is, they are conducted from the root into one or two trunks. A double-sided cordon requires more space.
The photo shows a vertical cordon for grapes
There is also a high-standard cordon that combines these two formations. Suitable for covering large areas in southern regions. The most productive form, giving several centners of excellent harvest quality, shade and coolness throughout the yard.
Things to remember when choosing a shape:
- The climate of your site. Warm winters - we grow a stem, the most advantageous form.
- Little space - we grow a sleeve, from a meter to three between the bushes - a fan or one-sided cordon, more than three meters between plants - a two-sided cordon.
- The greater the stock of perennial wood, the greater the crop the plant bears.
Pruning grapes and shaping the fruit link
Now directly about the shaping operation. The grapes have strong, but loose and porous wood structure, so we take the pruner very sharp. It is important. Either old Soviet high-grade steel secateurs, or German or Dutch ones, are good. Cheap pruning shears will grind wood, leading to large losses of sap and non-healing wounds - a favorable environment for the development of diseases on the bush.
Photo of pruning grapes
Also, remember that the vines should not be cut just above the bud, but slightly higher. This is called internode cutting. It is loose and in winter frosts in the pores will easily reach the kidney. We cut perennial wood like any other tree, without leaving hemp.
The main element of summer grape operations is the formation of fruit links. The fruit link consists of two vines. One is short, the other is long. From the short one grows green shoots, which will become vines next year. Green shoots will grow from the long one, which will bring the harvest this year. In autumn, after harvesting, the long vine is removed from the very base.
The formation of grapes in the first year of growing the fruit link boils down to the following:
- Among the ripe fruit shoots - vines are selected the strongest (thicker than a pencil) and broken in pairs to grow close to each other.
- One of them is cut short, leaving 2 or 3 buds, the other - long, about 8-9 buds. The first one bears the future vines, the second one the future harvest.
- In the fall of the second year, the long vine, along with all the shoots, is cut off. From the grown vines in the short one, choose the strongest two, remove the third. We form in the same way. One is long fruit, the other is short vegetative. She is also called a deputy.
Photo of forming grapes
And we repeat this operation from year to year. This will guarantee you a stable harvest without allowing the bush to overgrow. We maintain this balance every year. As you can see, there is nothing complicated with the fruit link; a beginner grower can easily cope with it. Moreover, we actually disassembled with you the first type of formation - a sleeve.
We form a fan, leaving more than two fruit links, directing them in different directions. The number of fruit links is determined based on the availability of free space. Typically, one sleeve requires about 0.7 meters per trellis. Thus, at a distance of three and a half meters, we can afford a five-arm fan.
And now we form a shtambcordon
- We choose the most powerful branch, leave 5-6 pairs of vines at a length of a meter and a half - the future fruit links.
- Cut off everything that grows below.
- We form the fruit links at the top, as indicated
- We leave a larger number of substitutes for the trunk, but shorter than for the cordon.
- If we lead the stem, we tie it to a powerful support until a thick trunk is formed that can withstand the load of foliage and harvest.
- We tie the cordon parallel to the ground, lifting it up to 10-20 centimeters, we conduct it in this way. So we will provide him with ventilation of the lower part of the wood, preventing mold and decay, especially in winter.
In the photo, a tied bush of grapes
Reforming old bushes
But this all applies to young bushes. And what to do with old, neglected brooms, which often turn into powerful bushes with inept formation or its absence? How to prune grapes from scratch? First, we cut out all the old wood from which the vines do not grow. It's already easier. We release the bottom of the bush so that the breeze can walk freely there. We remove all thin vines.
Cut out all the vines growing from the lower parts of the branches, pointing down. We choose no more than three or four powerful, well-ripened vines, they will become future substitutes. We cut out the rest of the hair mercilessly. Further, based on the space, we determine how many fruit links we leave on our bush. Now our wild bush has become cultivated.
If the old plant, on the contrary, has decayed from the merciless inept pruning, we remove all thin shoots, except for one, the most powerful. We appointed him as deputies, from him we will grow our future fruit links, but already next year. This summer, the bush must gather strength, mature, and build up its root potential.
Blurred or improperly formed bushes get sick more, before reaching a normal level of fruiting, they need to restore their resistance to diseases. Consider this by making it easier for the next two to three years to harvest them. Perhaps, in very weak bushes, it will be necessary to cut off all flowers altogether in the year following the reforming. And completely stunted it is reasonable to completely uproot and plant a young plant. If this is some kind of important variety, then it is better to propagate it by cuttings - the grapes are very easy to cut.
Video about pruning grapes
Formation of grapes in steps:
- We determine how much space and where we allocate grapes. For the gazebo - we make a bole or cordon, for a trellis - a cordon or a fan. In the greenhouse - we will restrict ourselves to the sleeve.
- We always cut the vines at the internode and with a sharp secateurs. The grapes are especially sensitive to the quality of the instrument.
- We create a fruit link, constantly picking two vines every year, fruit lashes grow from one, vegetative ones from the other.
- Depending on the shape, we create one, two or more fruit links - sleeves.
- We grow the stem and cordon so that the fruit link is formed not at the base of the bush, but at the end of a perennial branch.
- Throughout the summer, we tie the shoots to the trellis.
- In the fall, after harvesting, we cut off the vine with fruit lashes, leave two ripe new vines on the vegetative branch, cut one short by 2-3, the other by 8-9 buds.
- We repeat the same the next year, making sure that the bush does not overgrow.
- We cut off old bushes from weak shoots, normalize the load based on its general condition.
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Grafting technology in great detail
The degree of resistance to infectious diseases in different varieties is different. Some hybrids, as well as varietal groups, are completely immune to infectious diseases, others are slightly infected, however, there are varieties that suffer from diseases very much. Sometimes infection with mildew or oidium is like death for them. Unfortunately, most often the tastiest varieties are the weakest.
Why plant grapes
In addition, rootstocks-varieties, as a rule, are distinguished by greater vigor and relatively high immunity. That is, even a rootstock that is not resistant to some kind of fungal disease will undergo infection much less painfully than its cultivated counterpart. Simply due to the great regenerative power of roots and wood.
Strong growth force can increase the yield of cultivars grafted onto the stock. In addition, by grafting more than one variety per root, you can significantly save space on the site, thus creating a large species diversity in a small area. Correctly grafted grapes increase the life and fruiting of the bush, are more resistant to diseases, parasitic insects, and are more winter hardy.
There are many fungal diseases that are dangerous to grapes. The most harmful of them are:
- mildew (grape mildew),
- oidium (grape powdery mildew).
The main danger from mildew or from oidium is that in a short time most of the green mass of the plant can be infected, the crop dies without ripening. The plant meets the winter weakened, immature, freezing of a large part of the wood is possible. Roots, as well as the complete death of the bush.
In the photo, grafted grapes
Other diseases are not so rapid, but they are also harmful. The risk of sickness of a plant with them can be significantly reduced by observing agricultural techniques, but the chances of getting sick in plants still remain. To reduce them, you need to select stable rootstocks. But there are no rootstocks that are a panacea for all grape troubles. For example, many wild as well as semi-wild varieties are resistant to mildew, oidium, but susceptible to anthracnose. But this disease is not found everywhere (most often in the southern regions of Moldova and Ukraine).
Finally, the most common distribution of rootstocks is applied in areas of phylloxera infestation. This is a plant louse that parasitizes the roots and leaves of grapes. The most dangerous is the one that drinks the juice of the roots. Mildew, oidium and phylloxera are from the new world, therefore European varieties were defenseless against them. But American varieties are immune to these diseases, aphids also attack them weakly. They are most often used as the basis for vaccination operations.
The most suitable rootstocks for future grafting can be North American varietal groups Riparia, Rupestris, Solonis, as well as hybrids created by crossing them with some European varieties. The hybrid groups of the European selection Kober 5BB, RR 101-14 have also proven themselves very well.
In the photo, grapes after grafting
The degree of compatibility between rootstocks and scions is called affinity. Most often, it is associated with the difference between vigorous and low-growing varieties. The most suitable option for grafting is varieties of equal strength.
It is not recommended to inoculate several varieties on one bush. All the cuttings on such a bush will not take root anyway. In addition, in addition to frost resistance, resistance to diseases and phylloxera, the stock can increase the early maturity of the fruits of the future grafted bush, change the size and color of the berries.
We take care of plants before and after cutting
Pruning conifers and plants is a huge stress on trees. That is why a lot of attention should be paid to the care and condition of the tree before work. So, for example, if your thuja or juniper looks "not very" healthy, you should definitely strengthen the plants. For this, there are various top dressing, mineral and phosphorus fertilizers. Also, we must not forget about high-quality watering, without going "beyond the scope", because many conifers have enough two or three waterings per month, and an excess of moisture will negatively affect their root system.
It is also necessary to monitor the condition of the plants after removing the branches. For this, special stimulants are suitable - adaptogens, which strengthen and support trees and shrubs after such a stressful "operation". The main thing is to carefully read the instructions so as not to "overfeed" the plants.
It is possible to stimulate root growth with the help of zircon, but epin is perfect for the crown - the price of these "drugs" is quite low, and they have an excellent effect, which has been proven by many gardeners.
Such pruning of conifers will allow you not only to beautifully decorate the crown of plants, but also make them even stronger - pests and diseases of grapes, conifers and fruit trees will not be able to interfere with growth and development.
How to prune a young apple tree in spring?
Since annual seedlings, most often, are not branched, you need to cut the top to about the first five buds - new branches will go from them, which will become the basis for the formation of the crown. True, there are situations when some seedlings are sold together with branches. In this case, with the help of a secateurs, we cut off all the shoots that are below 60 cm, and shorten the upper ones to the first three buds. Do not forget to break off the shoots extending from the central trunk at a wide angle, because they can easily break off under the weight of the fruit.
If they are not there, then the shoots need to be pulled down with the help of struts and ropes. Pruning young apple trees in spring is carried out in the same way as in their first year. We remove young growths, if they are directed inward towards the central trunk, other shoots should be shortened by 30%. They also need to be thinned out to prevent the crown from launching. The lower branches should be left up to 30 cm long, the upper ones are made shorter. The guide should be 15-20 cm longer.
If in the process of pruning you see that another branch grows parallel to the main branch, which may become a competitor, we must delete it. Thanks to this, a central skeleton of a tree can be created, with a solid round shape.... In the next five years, you do not need to prune the apple tree, otherwise you can delay the entry of the tree into the season of fruiting.
Features of pruning young, old and neglected
Vine bushes of the same age, but grown in different natural areas, require different pruning, which is carried out at different times. In addition, well-groomed and neglected vines require different pruning.
Table of works in different regions
Region / state of grapes
Crimea and Kuban
Autumn pruning with the removal of branches without shoots and vines that have grown from internodes and directed downward, as well as other overgrowth besides three healthy powerful vines (an example of pruning in the video below the table)
Autumn pruning with removal of stepchildren, weakened shoots, dried branches. Young shoots are shortened to three buds. On old branches, the more eyes are left, the longer they are. On each arm, there should be a replacement knot below, above - a fruiting vine (example below)
Pruning an old neglected bush of grapes: video
Forming grapes using the simple Guyot method
The Guyot method is a stampless grape formation that is suitable for preparing a crop for winter. The branches are easily bent to the ground and tied. This is the optimal grape pruning and is suitable for experienced gardeners and beginners. There is nothing difficult here, having mastered the technique, you can grow one or two-shoulder bush.
Guyot Method - Stamp-Free Formation of Grapes
In the spring, in the first year of cultivation, we find 2 lower buds at the base of the stem, from which lateral shoots will later form. When they grow up, we tie them under a slope in opposite directions on the trellis. In the fall, after the onset of leaf fall, we form a future bush. We make one sleeve short, leave 2 eyes on it, and the other long - 4 eyes. The vine is flexible, easy to remove, cover it with protective material for the winter.
The next year, after the cold weather retreated, we again fix the sleeves in opposite directions. The shoots that have developed from the buds are given a vertical or slightly oblique orientation. In the fall, we shorten the long sleeve, two shoots should remain on it, both shoulders will become the same. Let's start pruning vertical branches. We shorten the ones closer to the head by two buds, forming replacement knots, and the distant ones by four, forming fruit arrows.
Video about work
In the third year, we again tie the sleeves to the trellis in the horizontal axis, do not touch the replacement knots. During the summer, twelve young branches will grow from the buds. In early or mid-August, not earlier, so as not to form stepchildren, we carry out chasing, shortening the overgrown vertical shoots by 10–20 cm. This procedure will increase the fruiting of the bush and the quality of the crop. In autumn, we cut off four lateral shoots, touching the sleeve. After formation, one link with two stems should remain. We carry out their pruning in the same way as in the previous year. Follow-up care will be consistent with 3 year activities.
For reliability, leave more buds, for example, three on replacement knots and six on fruit arrows. In case of severe frosts, you will have a supply, and if the kidneys remain, we remove the extra ones.
Material updated on January 25, 2018