First year Himrod vine pruning and training

Discussion in 'Grapes and Grape Vines' started by Mustang2010, Aug 28, 2020.

  1. Mustang2010

    Mustang2010 New Member

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    I am totally new to grape vine growing but I want to avoid some mistakes and this is the main reason I joined this community. I planted my first grape vine in June of this year. It’s Himrod (Vitis labrusca). I planted it between two, 7 feet high poles, that are 8 feet apart. There are 2 wires between the poles, 1 about 3 feet above the ground and the 2nd one about 6 feet above the ground. At the end of July I removed two weaker shoots and the strongest I chose grew already to almost 5 feet high. My goal is to have 2 shoots going in both directions on the 1st wire, and then 2 shoots going also in both directions on the higher wire. I live in Pennsylvania in zone 6a. So my question is when can I start to train the vine or when to cut the main shoot. I read somewhere I can cut it to about 5 feet once it grows to 7, 8 feet high even before winter or rather at the end of summer. This is the 1st year so I want to start without any major mistakes. Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    @Mustang2010 good afternoon and welcome to the forum. I will not be answering your question, but can I ask if you could post photos of your vine please.
    This will help members in giving you advice.
    I have added this link to show how to do this.
    Attach photos and files
     
  3. Mustang2010

    Mustang2010 New Member

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    I hope this will help
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Sulev

    Sulev Active Member

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  5. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Mustang2010, Sulev's reference has lots of good advice but does not explain the system that applies to your setup. Your 2-wire trellis is ideal for the 4-arm Kniffin system, which you can Google for more details. The following is a basic explanation: NMSU: Pruning Grapes to the Four-Arm Kniffin System. Himrod is a good variety for this system, since it is a vigorous grower and will provide long canes to utilize all of the space that you've provided. I've been growing a single Himrod vine with more than 20 arms for over 30 years; so it's capable of covering a lot more space if you ever want to expand it. I hope that the vine's location gets lots of sunshine; I see that it is in the shade in the photos.

    If you're intersted in maximizing production, you could try girdling the vine (after a couple of years), which increases the size of the grapes. Google "girdling grape vines" for details.
     
  6. Mustang2010

    Mustang2010 New Member

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    Thank you both of you. A lot of great info. The space has lots of sun during the day, from early morning till around 3pm at least. I'm thinking about adding additional support on top of the metal polls and create some kind of pergola. The polls are set over 2 feet in concrete so they are very sturdy. But this is future. The articles on training and pruning only mention winter pruning so I understand I shouldn't do anything until late winter.
     
  7. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Grape vines can be pruned at any time, except early spring, when they bleed sap profusely. I prune out any useless growth whenever I see it and remove fruiting canes right after harvest.
     
  8. Sulev

    Sulev Active Member

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    I usually prune my grapes soon after they drop their leaves. But I have pruned in early spring also (sometimes we get early snow and frosts, before I have managed to prune my grapes, it's not so pleasant to prune grapes at -20 ° C or dig them out from the snow to do some pruning) It's possible, but grapes loose a lot of their sap if pruned in the spring. And this is also favorite for mold, because of sugars from the sap are food for yeast, bacteria and fungi. So it is not recommended to prune in the spring.

    I don't practice pruning in the summer also, because that can cause premature sprouting of buds, that you want to save for next year.
     

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