REALLY old grapevines...

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by ozarkguysgal, Mar 5, 2004.

  1. ozarkguysgal

    ozarkguysgal New Member

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    We have recently purchased property that is the home of some VERY old grapevines. They are so overgrown it took a while to figure out what they were. Is there anyway to cut them back and get them to fruit again, or are they hopeless?





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    Ozarkguysgal @ Art's Acres
    Home of Mini Farm Homestead
    www.minifarmhomestead.com

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  2. Steve L.

    Steve L. Well-Known Member

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    Cutting them back is no real problem. I'd try to do it over a couple of years. Are you reasonably sure that they're a cultivated variety, and not wild? Are they on some sort of trellis?
     

  3. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Prune grapevines by removing anything smaller than a pencil's diameter. Allow two noduals away from the 'Y' junction to remain. This is usually done in the fall but if it is still cold there it should work.
     
  4. ozarkguysgal

    ozarkguysgal New Member

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    Wow,

    Thanks for the information. The vines are not on a trelles, but are forming an archway. This was the site of a one room school house and if I am figuring correctly, the grape vines were the entrance to the play yard in front of the school. If they are wild vines that had been planted by early homesteaders or a cultured variety, I'm not sure.

    I really want to try and get them back into shape and I sure appreciate your insights!


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    Ozarkguysgal @ Art's Acres
    Home of Mini Farm Homestead
    www.minifarmhomestead.com

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  5. Steve L.

    Steve L. Well-Known Member

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    Chances are they're some cultivated variety. I assume that there are two (one on each side of the arch)? Are they held up by some sort of arbor, or are they free standing? In any event, for starters, I'd just cut away everything that's growing outside of the space you want the vine to occupy. If that's more than 50% of the total vine mass, then you've probably cut out enough (If you need to get rid of 75 or 80%, then do it). If the vines have "runted out", and you don't really need to cut much to keep them in their "place", then keep thinning out branches until you've passed that 50% point. You can follow moopup's advice about cutting out some of the fine wood, but don't overdo it if the vines are really small. I'd rather see you make a few big cuts rather than a lot of small ones. That should be all you need to do for this year.

    This spring, summer, and fall, though, I hope that you'll get out and watch how they grow. Grapes bear their fruit principly on shoots that originate from buds that formed on last year's shoots. Learn what these shoots look like, and where they're coming from. The shoots you grow this year will carry both this year's crop and the buds that will grow into next year's shoots (and crop).
     
  6. ozarkguysgal

    ozarkguysgal New Member

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    Location:
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    OK, thank you. I have homework to do! The vines are "massive" and I haven't been able to get really close to them to check out all the details. The area is very overgrown, but I'm slowly clearing my way closer and closer.

    From your description, probably about a 50% cut will be about right.

    I'm going to print this so that I can re-read it when I get ready to prune them.

    I really, really appreciate your help!