Monday, August 22, 2011
First time pruning the grape vine
The signs of spring are everywhere. In my area every new day reveals another tree in bloom. I have even witnessed a few trees in my neighbourhood who's blossom has come and gone already. So I thought I’d better spring into action and prune the grape vine. My understanding is that pruning needs to be done prior to the plant coming out of hibernation.
We planted this vine three years ago with the intention to grow it up the centre post of the pergola then espalier it out to both sides along a wire. The first two years it hardly grew and on the the third I was going to pull it out if it didn’t pick up its game. Lucky for it it burst into life growing a single branch (if that’s what you call it?) that scaled up and across the full length of the wire. Except only to one side. What I need is for that single vertical branch to divide in two.
Despite recently attending a pruning course I still feel I have no idea what I am doing and approached the task with fear. But it had to be done so I simply gave it a go cutting it just below where I want it to divide. So how do you think I did?
I also cut off the strangely branches growing out of the base.
On the course I did learn when cutting to cut close to the adjoining branch as this enables the plant to seal over the wound. Otherwise a little dead stick remains protruding from the wound that lets in infection. I think the instructor did say this only applies to trees not vines or bushes. So I didn’t apply this rule to the grape vine but maybe I should have?