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Old 05-27-2015, 03:30 PM   #11
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Every time I watch or read how to prune a grape vine, I'm usually ok in the beginning, but the more I watch/ read, the more confused I get, and feel like Im going to screw something up.

Thats why I've been so hesitant to take the initiative.
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Old 05-27-2015, 03:32 PM   #12
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Can I prune an old ignored grape vine?

I don't think you can mess up a grape vine. 5 years isn't that old, no worries. Does it really need to be pruned?

We have lots of wild grape vines down in the woods that are really old, as well as a bunch in our pine stand, which I yank up in the fall to make wreaths.
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Old 05-27-2015, 10:21 PM   #13
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Every time I watch or read how to prune a grape vine, I'm usually ok in the beginning, but the more I watch/ read, the more confused I get, and feel like Im going to screw something up.

Thats why I've been so hesitant to take the initiative.
Since it's been ignored for a while anyway, I'd go ahead and just hack the heck out of it, water it, and see what happens. What have you got to lose? You may get new growths and end up with a whole new grapevine!
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Old 05-28-2015, 08:12 AM   #14
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Since it's been ignored for a while anyway, I'd go ahead and just hack the heck out of it, water it, and see what happens. What have you got to lose? You may get new growths and end up with a whole new grapevine!
This was my dad's philosophy for grapevine pruning. But then every year he would wonder why he got so few clusters of grapes. It wasn't until many years later that I knew the answer.

There are a hundred ways to prune and train a vine, but the one important thing to remember is that fruit bearing shoots always sprout from the previous year's new wood, so you don't want to remove that. And wood that's over two years old will not bear fruit at all.
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Old 05-28-2015, 08:55 AM   #15
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There are a hundred ways to prune and train a vine, but the one important thing to remember is that fruit bearing shoots always sprout from the previous year's new wood, so you don't want to remove that. And wood that's over two years old will not bear fruit at all.
It is almost like they were designed to keep you on your toes... I need something a little less high maintenance.
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Old 05-28-2015, 08:55 AM   #16
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...remember is that fruit bearing shoots always sprout from the previous year's new wood, so you don't want to remove that...

So when you're harvesting grapes, could you just clip off that whole branch at that time as it won't bear fruit again?
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Old 05-28-2015, 10:35 AM   #17
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It is almost like they were designed to keep you on your toes... I need something a little less high maintenance.
It isn't as high maintenance as it sounds. Once a year pruning is all that's needed, and once you learn the proper technique it goes pretty quick. I have 40 vines and it takes all of an hour to prune them. Ok. Maybe an hour and a half.

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So when you're harvesting grapes, could you just clip off that whole branch at that time as it won't bear fruit again?
Well, not exactly, because the shoots bearing this year's fruit will be the branches that produce the buds that become fruiting shoots next year. But older wood can absolutely be removed. From time to time, the entire plant will lose productivity, and you have to create new "cordons" (these are the primary branches - think "arms" - that run laterally on the trellis wire from the trunk) to rejuvenate it again.

I know this all sounds complicated but, honestly, it's a learn-once-know-forever experience.
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Old 05-28-2015, 09:11 PM   #18
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I know this all sounds complicated but, honestly, it's a learn-once-know-forever experience.
Im still working on the " learn once" part

Ill get it one day.I don't know why I can't grasp the concept.
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Old 05-29-2015, 12:01 PM   #19
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Im still working on the " learn once" part

Ill get it one day.I don't know why I can't grasp the concept.
Larry, if I'm able to, I'll try and log in tonight and post a photo that explains it. Reading it in a book doesn't always help me, either, but photos sometimes help the "a-ha" moment to come.
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Old 05-29-2015, 06:58 PM   #20
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Larry, if I'm able to, I'll try and log in tonight and post a photo that explains it. Reading it in a book doesn't always help me, either, but photos sometimes help the "a-ha" moment to come.

That would be great. Im more of a visual learner, so photos would be more beneficial.
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