"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Farm to Table > Culinary Gardener
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-26-2015, 03:53 PM   #1
Executive Chef
 
larry_stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 3,643
Can I prune an old ignored grape vine?

Ive had a grape vine growing for years ( I'd say at lest 5 + years, probably longer). I don't remember if I planted it, or if a bird did, but Ive just been watching it grow and ignoring it over the years.

Now that it has matured, and Ive gotten a few grapes over it the past year or two, I figured, maybe I should be taking better care of it and prune it properly.

Which brings me to my question, is it ok to prune the grape vine ( as it should be pruned) this late in the game ? or by doing so, will I screw it up?

It still appears to be manageable, it hasn't totally over grown.

Larry

larry_stewart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2015, 04:24 PM   #2
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Addie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: East Boston, MA
Posts: 22,365
Quote:
Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
Ive had a grape vine growing for years ( I'd say at lest 5 + years, probably longer). I don't remember if I planted it, or if a bird did, but Ive just been watching it grow and ignoring it over the years.

Now that it has matured, and Ive gotten a few grapes over it the past year or two, I figured, maybe I should be taking better care of it and prune it properly.

Which brings me to my question, is it ok to prune the grape vine ( as it should be pruned) this late in the game ? or by doing so, will I screw it up?

It still appears to be manageable, it hasn't totally over grown.

Larry
Winter seems to be the approved time to prune the vines. Perhaps the following can be of help to you.

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=284
__________________
Illegitimi non carborundum!
I don't want my last words to be, "I wish I had spent more time doing housework"
Addie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2015, 04:31 PM   #3
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 24,334
Larry, I would wait till the fall, after harvest, to prune. We're into the growing season now, which isn't the best time to prune fruit plants; you'll be cutting off the buds. If there are any broken vines, you can remove those. You can also train the vines now.

Here's more info from Cornell University's Extension Office: Gardening Resources, Cornell University

And a video:
__________________
Anyplace where people argue about food is a good place.
~ Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown, 2018
GotGarlic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2015, 11:25 PM   #4
Chef Extraordinaire
 
CWS4322's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Rural Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 13,466
I can't help with cultivated grape vines, but we yank the wild grape vines off the trees year around. What you can do, is watch the leaves...once they are about the size of your palm, you can harvest them for dolmadas. Pick the after the 4th leave down....and in the fall, prune them, make grapevine wreathes or napkin ring size...
__________________
I've got OCD--Obsessive Chicken Disorder!
https://www.discusscooking.com/forums...les-76125.html
CWS4322 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2015, 11:46 PM   #5
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Dawgluver's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 25,016
I'm in the wait till fall camp to prune.

Great idea CWS has to use the leaves.
__________________
She who dies with the most toys, wins.
Dawgluver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2015, 08:56 AM   #6
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 46,680
In the mean time, you can harvest the grape leaves and preserve them for later stuffing.

When I was a child, mom and dad would take my sister and me on a Sunday drive. Then dad would pull over in the middle of nowhere. Mom would hand my sister and me grocery bags and direct us to the roadside grapevine. We had to pick until the bags were full. She'd stuff those leaves for the most delicious meals.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2015, 12:41 PM   #7
Wine Guy
 
Steve Kroll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
Posts: 6,345
I've been growing grapes for about 15 years, and I can tell you the absolute best time to prune is in very early spring. Ideally, you want to wait until the last possible moment to prune. Around here we usually wait until the buds are just beginning to push out a bit (late April most years) but you don't want to wait until after bud break because you lose a lot of sap at the same time when the plant needs the energy.

When you prune you encourage bud break, so if you live in an area prone to spring frosts and prune too early, your tender young buds have the potential to suffer frost damage. Fortunately, there are secondary and tertiary sets of buds, so even a bad frost may not result in a total loss.

Pruning in fall isn't a good idea, either. Again, pruning encourages growth. In the fall, it's better to let the vine just harden off so it will survive the winter.

There is a real trick to proper pruning. You generally only get clusters forming on wood that was new in the previous year, so you don't want to completely remove anything that is shiny brown. Just trim these shoots back to leave first the 2 or 3 buds closest to the cordon or main trunk, and you'll get grapes every year.

Rest assured, there isn't really such a thing as a vine that's beyond salvaging, unless it's truly dead. Even a badly butchered grapevine will usually send out suckers in the spring. They have a very robust root system that encourages survival, even in the most adverse conditions.
Steve Kroll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2015, 12:51 PM   #8
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 46,680
Sounds complicated, Steve. Good to hear from you.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2015, 01:22 PM   #9
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Dawgluver's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 25,016
Hi Steve, nice to see you!
__________________
She who dies with the most toys, wins.
Dawgluver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2015, 01:33 PM   #10
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Cheryl J's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: California
Posts: 10,063
Welcome back Steve, it's good to see you again!

Before my daughter got married, she rented a little condo that had grapevines on the patio. She had no idea what they were, and hacked off the top 3 feet or of the 'dead plant', down to almost ground level. I think this was around March.

We told her it was a grapevine (saw it before she hacked it up) and to start watering it. She did, and it went crazy - she had so many grapes she had to give some away.

They sure a beautiful vine - I would try my luck at some if I had the empty fence space to put up a trellis.
__________________
Grandchildren fill the space in your heart you never knew was empty.
Cheryl J is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2015, 03:30 PM   #11
Executive Chef
 
larry_stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 3,643
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.
larry_stewart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2015, 03:32 PM   #12
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Dawgluver's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 25,016
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.
__________________
She who dies with the most toys, wins.
Dawgluver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2015, 10:21 PM   #13
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Cheryl J's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: California
Posts: 10,063
Quote:
Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
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!
__________________
Grandchildren fill the space in your heart you never knew was empty.
Cheryl J is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2015, 08:12 AM   #14
Wine Guy
 
Steve Kroll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
Posts: 6,345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheryl J View Post
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.
Steve Kroll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2015, 08:55 AM   #15
Master Chef
 
FrankZ's Avatar
Site Administrator
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Chesapeake Bay
Posts: 9,754
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
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.
__________________
"First you start with a pound of bologna..."
-My Grandmother on how to make ham salad.
FrankZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2015, 08:55 AM   #16
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 46,680
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
...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?
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2015, 10:35 AM   #17
Wine Guy
 
Steve Kroll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
Posts: 6,345
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankZ View Post
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
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.
Steve Kroll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2015, 09:11 PM   #18
Executive Chef
 
larry_stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 3,643
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
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.
larry_stewart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2015, 12:01 PM   #19
Wine Guy
 
Steve Kroll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
Posts: 6,345
Quote:
Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
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.
Steve Kroll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2015, 06:58 PM   #20
Executive Chef
 
larry_stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 3,643
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
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.
larry_stewart is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:50 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.