Growing Grapes in Your Backyard
|Topic||How do I train the young vine during the first growing season?|
During the first growing season it is generally best to allow all shoots to grow without much training, since shoots and leaves produce a strong root system for future vine development. However, if growth of the young rooted vine is very vigorous, it may be possible to begin training one strong shoot up a stake or other structure. Be sure to keep a few additional shoots as backup in case the main shoot (trunk) is damaged and to increase photosynthesis, but cut them to 6 to 12 inches long so they don’t compete with the main shoot.
When the main shoot reaches about 6-12 inches above the wire or other support structure where the head or cordons will be developed (in the first or second season), cut it off just below the wire. Usually at least two shoots will grow from below the cut. For cordon training, direct one shoot one way and the other shoot the other direction. Tie the shoots to the wires as they grow; these will become permanent (cordon) branches. For head-trained vines (cane pruning), cut the main shoot several inches below the wire(s) and allow subsequent shoots to grow onto the wire or other support structure. For mature vines, see How do I train and prune mature vines?
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