Pruning Table Grapes



Table grape types can be spur (bilateral cordon) or cane pruned.  To determine which would be best for your particular wants and for the health of the plant, here is some basic information on each:

–Cane. The Double-T cane pruning system is useful when growing table grapes because of the balance achieved between fruit and vegetation and because of bud count flexibility. Sun canes from renewal spur buds are both vigorous and fruitful from year to year. Vines can be pruned to 8 or 24 buds with only 2 canes, or to 16 or 32 buds on a 4 cane system. Since new canes are selected each year, long term loss from hail or freeze is reduced. If excess
vigor is a problem, more buds are left on the vine. The total bud count per
vine can be used to dramatically increase cluster and berry size. Large
cluster varieties can be pruned to fewer buds per cane on mature vines,
producing fruit far superior to that obtained on a bilateral cordon vine.
All varieties can be cane pruned.

–Bilateral Cordon. The Bilateral Cordon is the most common pruning system
currently in use for wine grapes in Texas, and it will also work for table
grapes. Vine vigor and production are well-balanced with 28 to 32 total buds
on 14 spurs. The bilateral cordon is very difficult to train during the second and third years of vineyard establishment, but is extremely easy to prune thereafter. Hail and freeze damage to the horizontal cordons has caused some growers to shift to a cane system with temporary canes rather than permanent cordons.

The Bilateral Cordon system is well-designed for leaf pruning and for exact
fungicide placement to control black rot and bunch rot. All varieties except
Thompson Seedless can produce good crops using the bilateral cordon if
over-cropping or excess vigor is not a problem.

Also, make sure to keep you cane count in mind as you go about your pruning.
The Cane Count rule can be used to estimate the proper number of buds to
leave after pruning. Using the Cane Count rule, if a vine produces 40
healthy canes measuring 3/8 inch in diameter, leave a bud for every cane
minus 10 percent, leaving a total of 36 buds on the vine after pruning.
Using this rule, the table grape grower can determine the exact number of
buds to leave on the vine after pruning. If pruning is ignored, and the vine
is allowed to grow unmanaged, excess vigor, poor quality, over-cropping,
late harvest, and potential vine death will result.




© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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