Re: Grape vine protection from the cold?
I’ve only cane pruned my Canadice
, but due to a couple different locations, both spur and cane prune my Himrods
… Canadice are less vigorous than Himrod and are likely more akin to ‘American grapes’ (Vitis labrusca
, ‘foxy,’ with ‘slip skins’). I’ve long runs on a trellis built above the reach of deer - with plants around ten feet apart, thus training long canes from ‘last years growth’ across them has worked well. Fortunately the Canadice are usually vigorous enough to produce canes five+ feet per season.
Himrod has no problem producing that length of cane, if usually three times as long…
Just keep in mind that grapes produce on ‘last years’ growth, so you’ll have to leave enough of it for them to set fruit; either one long cane, refreshed/ replaced every year; or a cane that’s allowed to remain, with short ‘spurs’ of two to three buds left yearly for fruit production.
To me, a slower growing vine will fill the trellis or cover the wire at too slow a pace to renew itself every year, thus I’d train it (the cordon) completely across, then prune it’s shoots as described for spur production; renewing them yearly.
For a faster growing vine I’d replace the full length canes along the wire yearly, beginning as close to the ‘main trunk’ as the shoot/s appears. If it’s vigorous, you can leave the trunk short of the top wire and lead the year old ‘runner canes’ up and across; giving slightly more buds for fruit production…
I can prune apple trees with my eyes closed … feeling for buds. But grapes – you gotta be watching and planning every cut. They’ve taken years for me to figure out, and, each has a somewhat different growth habit; even variations in soil fertility around my yard/ orchard will dictate which pruning method I use… But once you’ve figured them out – it’s like a living puzzle. Out here in ‘wine country’ it’s interesting to see the strategy that goes into pruning them for wine production, almost exclusively spur pruned and trained … then leaf removal for ‘color.’
Actually, I’ve let most of my grape arbors go… too many, too time consuming, and after predation …too few. And you’re right …raccoons love them… and robins and deer… So I hope my terminology’s correct as well