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Pruning Grapevines - 3 Helpful Tips on Pruning Grapes

Pruning Grapevines is one of the most commonly overlooked tasks of growing grapes and keeping a successful backyard grape growing garden. Most farmers new to grape growing have not yet understood how important it is to prune grapevines in order to achieve high quality grapes from their vines. I have heard from plenty of grape growing hobbyists, with huge massive crops, complain at how poor the quality of wine grapes their grapevines have produced. They don't have the faintest clue as to why their enormous grape crop fail to produce top quality grapes.

The reason for these dissapointments lie with grape pruning.

You see, pruning grapes is a MUST if you want to produce great tasting fruit. When you don't prune grapevines, the vine itself will produce more grapes than it can handle. Meaning that the grapevine does not have enough energy to ripen all those fruits, hence the grape clusters will be poor and worthless. The stems tend to grow crooked and are generally not strong enough to withstand the winter.

Pruning grapevines is also important to control the size of your grape crop. Grapevines can typically grow to sized large enough to cover entire acres of space. This does not mean that they produce the best quality fruits. On the contrary, a pruned grapevine, that is, a grapevine that has been pruned correctly will in the long run give you the best grapes money can buy. Below I have listed some quick tips to help you get started on your grapevine pruning.

Pruning Grapevines Tip #1: Though I cannot stress enough the importance of grapevine pruning, I must remind you to carefully determine when you will be pruning your grapevines because it may affect the overall results of your cause. Keep in mind that he best time of the year to prune grapes is in the early spring or the late winter. This will ensure ultimate fruit growth for next year's season.

Pruning Grapevines Tip #2: Before you start pruning grapevines, you must estimate the amount of 1 year old wood in pounds and then hold the applicable amount of fruiting canes per vine. It would be most beneficial to train your grapevines to the Four Cane Kniffin System which requires 4 fruiting canes. Make sure you leave an equivalent amount of renewal spurs because the buds on these spurs will be your main grape cane growers next season.

Pruning Grapevines Tip #3: Once you have pruned your grapevines down, completely cut down all the other canes and using their weight, determine the number of buds to leave on your vine. It is recommended to use the formula of 'balanced pruning' also known as the '30 plus 10' formula which means leaving 30 buds for the first pound of removed canes followed by an additional 10 buds per extra pound.

Remember the ultimate goal of grapevine pruning is to manage your grapevine crop size, modify the quality of the fruits, and regulate the growth to a point where you can manage it. Pruning grapevines can be challenging at first, but the rewards of proper grapevine pruning are well worth the efforts. Don't fall victim to a massive crop of unpruned grapevines and poor quality fruit. It defeats the whole purpose of growing grapevines.

Visit this link to begin learning the skills necessary for proper grapevine pruning. Matt Granger has been growing grapes for over 30 years and is an expert in backyard grape growing and grapevine farming. Visit his personal grape growing website here: