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How to prune grapes from the first to the fifth year of cultivation

Competent formation of grapes is a prerequisite for its successful cultivation in any region, be it the south of France

Competent formation of grapes is a prerequisite for its successful cultivation in any region, be it the south of France or the Moscow region. The plant itself does not pursue the goal of growing as many sweet large berries as possible that ripen in time. By correct pruning, we “explain” to the grape bush what is required of it, while protecting it from overload. Galina Kizima in her book “Garden and Vegetable Garden. Secrets of Easy Harvests ”tells how to work with grapes, starting from the first year of planting.

The simple formation of grapes in a sleeve, recommended by V. Zhvakin, according to the observations of gardeners, is very suitable for Moscow and the region. The bush, formed by two arms, is easy to lay on the ground in autumn, which makes it quite easy to cover it for the winter. In the Moscow region, for the wintering of grapes planted in the ground, shelter is required. To clearly understand where what comes from, consider pruning this crop over the years.

First year
A seedling planted in spring manages to grow and mature over the summer, and in the lower part it grows well lignified. But in mid-late August, the apical point of growth must still be plucked out (above the 8-10th leaf) in order to stop further growth of the vine. For clarity, the diagrammatic drawings depict not leaves, but only buds. In the fall, before the shelter, you need to prune a young plant, leaving only 2 buds. For the winter, it is required to organize a dry shelter – the same as for roses.

Second year
In the spring of the second year, 2 shoots will go from the buds at once – the sleeves of the first order, which must be shortened in the fall, again leaving 2 lower buds on each, laid on the ground and put a shelter over them.

Third year
In the spring of the third year, 2 vines are already formed on each arm, of which the inner ones will be the arms of the second order.

In the fall, we shorten all the sleeves by 2 buds and be sure to cut off the lignified stump with a sharp pruner to avoid its decay. After that, we cover the bush for the winter.

Fourth year
In the fourth year, we form sleeves of the fourth order, as shown in the figures below.

Fifth year
In the fifth year, the formation of the bush is completed. Note that the replacement knot is always located on the lower outside of the vine. Each side received 4 vines and 4 replacement knots.

The pruning of the fifth year differs from the previous ones, because the formation of a fruit pair begins – a replacement knot and a vine that will bear fruit the next year. The lowest vines on both sides are cut into 2 buds, and the vines above them are cut into 8-10 buds (see the diagram below) and so on. Long vines will begin bearing fruit in the fifth year, while short ones will serve as replacement knots.

It should be explained why the replacement knots are needed. A replacement knot is a pruning of a freshly matured vine with two buds, on which a new pair will form again next year – a replacement knot and a fruiting vine.

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