My Tiny Grape Vine is a bit of star in my garden. It sits in the far corner, quietly doing its thing. And then in September it produces the sweetest, tiniest black grapes you can imagine. It sounds like I don’t really have to do anything but sit here and wait for the Grapes but that’s not entirely true. Over the past year I have poured over many books and fretted over which training system to go for. Not to mention nearly having a mini-breakdown every time I have to prune it. But I think I may have turned a corner. Today, I winter pruned my Grape Vine in readiness for next year’s fruiting season.
Having already decided on the Guyot system I was all geared up to do the Winter prune with confidence. And that’s what I did. As you can see from the photo above all the leaves have dropped off the vine. This makes it much easier to see what you’re doing. The Guyot system allows for the vine to have two ‘arms’ off which the vertical fruiting branches grow. The arms must be one year old and the fruiting branches are this season’s growth – otherwise it won’t work.
So the trick is to earmark two branches from the current season’s growth to make next year’s horizontal ‘arms’. The two branches in the middle look perfect to me. Carefully bend them down so that they are horizontal. It’s a good idea to do this before you make any cuts to ensure they don’t break.
Now that I have my new horizontal arms in place I can snip off last year’s arms along with all of the vertical fruiting branches.
This will leave you with just two horizontal branches. Ideally, you’d want them both to lay flat like the one on the left but this isn’t always possible. The right hand branch will still fruit it just won’t look as pretty.
Then when you’re happy with your pruning, tie the arms in to protect them from the Winter wind. And you’re done!