Thursday, 26 April 2012

Grapevines Part 1 -- Pruning and Last Years Harvest

A few years ago my wife asked me to plant a Concord grapevine from a pretty sickly looking cutting purchased at a local nursery.  I stuck it at a sunny corner of the house but didn’t expect much. three years I was able to train the vine to grow 25' along the side of the garage and about 10' along the back of the garage.

Last winter (March 2011) I watched some Youtube videos and read articles on the topic of pruning grapevines because I wanted to significantly increase my grape yield.  I decided to prune my vine using the single Cordon system for its simplicity.  The main point to remember is that grape clusters only grow on new growth and pruning is designed to optimize new growth and therefore the grape clusters.  To prune, I identified one of the many pencil-thick shoots that grew off a main branch the year before.  Then I count up 2 to 3 buds from the base of the shoot and cut off the remainder of the shoot leaving 2 to 3 buds.  If you want to propogate more grapevines don’t discard the cuttings -- a topic for an upcoming post.  Each bud will spawn a new shoot which will host multiple grape clusters.  I now know that grapevines are very hardy and you really can’t kill your vine short of ripping it out of the ground.

Here is the results of my pruning.  As you can see from this kick-ass harvest, you can grow grapes in Ottawa.  When ripe, this variety of grape tastes like Welch's grape juice.


  1. Hi Mike,
    Looks like you had a nice harvest last year.
    Those new buds look good. Any blooms peaking out yet?

    1. Hey Fred.

      I just wrote a new post this afternoon showing the current growth and the grape clusters. I've got tons...+50 I'm guessing.