Grapevines are generally grown approximately 3m apart on a two-wire trellis. The fruiting buds of grapevines are borne on one-year-old wood which arises from two-year-old wood. Water shoots, which grow on wood older than two years, do not bear fruit.
Pruning begins in mid-winter when the vines are dormant.
· First year – Cut the strongest cane on the vine back to two buds and train the growth from these two buds in opposite directions along the bottom wire of the trellis.
· Second year- Prune these two main sturdy stems back to three buds on each arm.
· Third year – Prune back to base and continue this process each year.
IMMEDIATELY after pruning spray with Lime Sulfur and follow 3-4 weeks later with Copper Oxychloride. This ensures a good winter clean up of your vine, killing any bugs and fungus that harbour along the stems, thus minimizing re-infestation of pests and diseases. Feed in early spring (Aug/Sep) with Richgro Fruit & Citrus fertilizer and an application of Sulphate of Potash.
Grapevines are susceptible to downy mildew. This can be controlled by spraying with Copper Oxychloride when new shoots are approximately 20cm long and apply at 14-21 day intervals (do not apply during flowering).
Thin in early summer by removing some developing clusters, this will encourage the remaining clusters to grow larger and produce bigger fruit. This also increases the hardiness of your vines.
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