The Extreme Gardener

Experiments in permaculture and
other gardening adventures in northeastern Vermont

Pruning grapes

July 5th, 2011

grapes on the rocks

If you are looking for good advice from me about pruning grapes, forget about it. I don’t know what I’m doing. When we originally planted our Swenson’s Red grapes, we provided a fairly normal kind of wood and wire trellis, which served its purpose for a while. However, there were a few chaotic years which included graduate school and heavy equipment to install a modern septic system. A large pile of very large stones, salvaged from the foundation of what was once a barn, ended up next to Swenson’s Red.

With the combination of my neglect and its exuberance for the extra heat held by the rocks, it covered the rock pile; and it started bearing quantities of grapes that would actually get ripe, and are nice to eat.

Grape blossoms

So, I hack away at it a few times a year as time allows to try to keep it in bounds, and to get more sun on the fruits as they ripen. Recently I was clipping away at the new growth, lost in my recurring grape pruning fantasy.

Kemosabe in ginseng

Kemosabe in the Siberian ginseng

My recurring fantasy is this: I am wantonly snipping away at the vines, when suddenly a man bearing an uncanny resemblance to Gerard Depardieu yells “MERDE!!! Stoopeed woman! Zat ees no way to treat a grape!!” and he whisks me off to the south of France to show me how it should be done…

Lost in this revery, I was working my way around the grape behemoth. Out of the corner of my eye I thought I noticed Kemosabe, one of our loyal and trusty cats, who likes to spy on me from the shrubbery. Black and white fur, right?

Kemosabe in grapes?

Kemosabe in the grapes???
NOT Kemosabe in grapes

NOT Kemosabe in grapes. Time to go, folks!!!

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5 Responses to “Pruning grapes”

  1. randi says:

    YIKES! When I began reading this I was thinking, “Good, this savvy Vermonter will help me out with my sad grape attempts and give me info specific to our clime”, but wow, a nest of baby skunks. Cute, but not an experience I desire. Err, good luck? (BTW, great to see a blog post from you)

  2. gayle says:

    Nothing cuter than baby skunks… And few things better left alone!
    Our grape vine (a concord) slides into black rot every year. We haven’t yet figured out how to get rid of it.

  3. Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm says:

    Oh no! Better run!
    But aren’t they so cute!!!

  4. Ray says:

    PepĂ© Le Pew, perhaps? I don’t suppose Kemosabe would hang round either!

  5. Terry says:

    Two great videos on pruning grapes. I hope these help.

    http://tigbos.com/Pruning-Grapes-Vines-Video.html

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