The Vitis vinifera , known worldwide as a vine or vine, is a widespread plant both on farms and in home gardening, either for its grapes, raw material from which the wine is made, and its value traditional and aesthetic.
Taking proper care of a vine is not easy, and one of the aspects that must be taken into account the most with the vine is its pruning. This climbing plant can reach great heights in the wild, but it is almost always pruned by the farmer and the gardener to maintain much smaller shrubs, which allow easy picking of its fruits. This pruning cannot be done in any way, and in this article we are going to focus on explaining when and how to prune a vine or vine .
When to prune a vine
When deciding when to prune a vine , the same rule applies as in the vast majority of plants: the vine must be pruned when it is in vegetative rest . Otherwise, the plant has not stored its nutrients properly, and can become weak and lose a lot of energy with pruning. Thus, the usual pruning season will always be between the end of its fruiting season and the beginning of spring , before it regains its activity.
In this regard, there are those who advise pruning between the end of winter and the beginning of spring, since the plant produces a somewhat later but more abundant and optimal fruiting.
How to prune a vine
There are two types of pruning a vine : formation pruning and fruiting pruning.
Formation pruning is carried out during the first years of the vine’s life, and its function is to give the plant a suitable shape and structure. This shape will vary depending on the function you want to give your vine, it is not the same to seek a maximum production of grapes than, for example, a vine that provides shade in a garden.
Fruiting pruning is carried out on older plants that already have a suitable base shape, and its objective is for the plant to grow healthy and bear good fruit.
How to prune a young vine
The pruning is performed during the first 3 to 4 years of the vine. Pruning should be carried out in the first winter after planting, although if your vine is too small and still weak, you can wait until the following year.
In the first formation pruning, choose the strongest and straightest branch of your vine, which will become its main branch. You should prune all the other weak branches to the base, and also prune the main shoot leaving 2 buds if it is a black grape vine, or 3 if they are white grapes. In the next formation pruning, choose the strongest shoot again and cut the rest, leaving the main one about 30 cm in length. In addition, here it will be convenient to tie the branch to a guide or support, and when it grows enough to reach the height of the same, pinch it so that it branches, and clamp those same branches the following year, about 25 cm in length.
There are other types of training pruning, but this is the most used to get vines that give a good amount of fruit without reaching too much height.
How to prune an old vine
The fructification pruning is done on vines already have their basic structure desired, and only need proper maintenance to remove parts in disrepair and its branches do not take the sun between them.
To continue stimulating vine growth, you should prune older wooden branches that are no longer producing new shoots. Also prune any branches or parts that appear to be diseased or in poor condition, and remove new shoots that will cross the main branches or may hinder their growth by blocking the light.
How to prune a vine for shade
If the main objective of your vine is to provide shade rather than fruit, the formation pruning should be completely different.
Steps to prune a vine for shade
Leave only the strongest stem of your vine, tied to a support so that it rises over it, and eliminates the lateral shoots that appear until the vine reaches the desired height, from where its growth and leafiness will be stimulated on the supports that you place so that they provide adequate shade when you finish covering them.
When the grapes are picked
The harvest or collection of the grapes depends on when the vine pruning has been carried out and on the weather conditions of the area and the season.
However, the usual thing is that it starts well into the summer, around the middle or end of July, and lasts until September.