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Pruning grapes in the summer—tips for growing table grapes in the home garden
Jul 07, 2011 - Charlotte from Peaceful Valley
The world would be a better place if every human had a grape vine. ~ Henry Mitchell
Pruning your table grape vines in summer is a small price to pay for the timeless look and abundant production of healthy grapes in your home garden.
The vines, leaves, and clusters of grapes are all so evocative of the ancient world. Whether you’re admiring your table grapes across the yard, or sitting under a grape-covered arbor, you’re enjoying one of the great plants of history.
Follow these quick and easy steps for summer table grape vine care, then you can go back to relaxing and waiting for the tempting crop.
In our new video, Tricia points out the lush table grape vine growth brought on by the wet spring and summer of 2011. Did that happen in your garden too? Are the long and lively grape vines grabbing at you as you walk by?
To keep the table grape vines in your home garden under control, and boost their health, use this timetable for summer “canopy management”. The canopy is all of the above-ground growth of the grape vine.
MAY - JUNE
Pruning & Shoot Thinning
* Prune the shoots on the vines, with shoots about 3 inches apart.
A mature table grape vine can support only 16 to 20 clusters. Pinch or cut off excess clusters before they bloom.
JUNE - JULY
Pruning, Hedging & Leaf Removal
Keep an eye on your grape vines as they grow. If the leaves become dense they can give too much shade for the clusters of fruit. If your climate is hot and sunny, like California’s, you will want the clusters shaded by leaves for about half the daylight hours. If you need to remove leaves, do so on the east or north sides of the vines; keep leaves on the west or south sides of the vines to protect the fruit from intense sun.
Lack of air circulation from too many leaves is a factor in the development of powdery mildew (which can also lead to bunch rot). For more on powdery mildew prevention and cure, see our video and blog post.
Aim for shoots that are 3 to 4 feet long, with 15 to 22 large leaves.
You can do summer pruning on your grape vines with your favorite garden snips and pruners.
* Lift the shoots with fruit clusters and arrange them on your trellis or arbor for optimum air flow.
* If you still have more than one cluster per shoot, cut off the excess now.
Birds don’t share well
When the fruit starts to ripen, drape protective bird netting over your grape vines.
For more information
Watch Chuck Ingels, Sacramento County Farm Advisor, in a short video on both summer and winter grape pruning. Read Table Grapes by the Texas Cooperative Extension and other wine grape articles at that Grape Growing site.
Categories: Grape Vines, Table Grape Vine, Animal & Bird Control, Bird Control, Pruning & Cutting Tools, Edible Landscaping, Urban Gardening & farming
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