Monday, March 25, 2013

Heard it through the Grapevine

We pruned back the grapevines recently.  

When we bought the house, there were grapevines all over the fence.  Upon closer inspection, we found that the vines were attempting to overtake the apricot tree and the fence.  Note all of the green on top of the fence.  We also found vines climbing up a utility wire that led to our neighbor's garage.  Unfortunately, I did not have the foresight to take a "before" picture, so you will just have to make due with this blown-up cell phone picture.

After pruning back the grapevine to four main runners, I constructed a trellis using 6-foot garden support poles and galvanized steel wire.  I put turnbuckles in the wire to keep it taught.  Because we only pounded the poles into the ground, we added supporting guy wires attached to our large cherry tree (in background of photo)  and a power pole (out of picture to the left of the photographer).

We tried to prune the vine to match the head-trained variation of grape vine pruning. However, the video below might suggest that we should have left more pieces of runners coming out of the vine.

We had a total of three steel wires going parallel to the fence, strung across the pounded in poles.  I also plan to grow berries on the far end (near the power pole).  If they are very long, then the wires should be loosened in the winter, because they shrink and will be dangerously tight.

We made a wreath with the scraps of grapevine that we pruned!

Once our grapes grow, we can mash them up and make juice for fermentation!

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