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ScottS

I heard it through the grapevine

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Attached are pics of one of my 20 year old grapevines that I recently pruned back in anticipation of the coming spring and summer growing season. (There in the background of pic 2 is my dear friend Sadie, she of the labradoodle persuasion.)

The variety of grape is Himrod. Generally thought of as a premium fresh/table, juice and raisin grape, it also makes for a wonderfully, sort of Muscatel style wine that I unfortunately can't drink but can take the occasional sip of. (It's consistently very tasty, dry, moderately fruity and with a hint of warm honey.)

The style of pruning is called cane. The layout of these vines is somewhat unusual in that they have three arms. (Or, in grapevine terms, "cordons". The thick stump of wood at the base of the vine is the trunk.)

When pruning a grapevine cane style, one cuts back (cuts off) up to 90% of the previous year's growth, leaving just a few canes. The canes are the much thinner, much lighter colored stick looking things growing out of the cordons/arms. Have a closer look and you'll note that every so and so inches there are little bump looking things on the canes. (See pic 4 for a closeup of one.) These bump things are actually buds that come mid-May will start to open up and not long after that begin to develop into entire new (hopefully fruit producing) canes.

Pic 3 illustrates what a "renewal spur" looks like. A renewal spur has anywhere from one to five buds that will develop into new canes for next years crop. When pruning grapes one must always plan ahead.

I took Pic 5 on the 12th of July last year. As you can see, the berries still had a ways to go (about 2 months) before they were ready for picking.

Last year, the two Himrod vines alone produced a grand total of 38 pounds of grapes! 

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GREAT vines! You made my day by anticipating spring planting season - nothing better than that! Your vines yield a nice harvest!!!

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1 hour ago, Pistol said:

GREAT vines! You made my day by anticipating spring planting season - nothing better than that! Your vines yield a nice harvest!!!

What will you be tending to in your upcoming spring garden?

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Oh - gardening is my passion but since POTS I have to let my hubby do all the hard stuff. We grow a large veggie garden but my special place are my flower gardens and - especially - my herb garden. I specialize in culinary and medicinal herbs and flowers. During the winter my blooming orchids keep me busy. Plants are so rewarding, don't you think? -- Have you ever made your own wine? We used to pick wild fox grapes and made many gallons of wine ( also a rewarding hobby!!! ). Enjoy your grapes!!!!!

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Since I can only be upright for so long at any given time I grow a lot of stuff in fabric pots (and also in easily accessed raised beds). Thank goodness for carpet installers. Without them, I wonder would those heavy duty knee pads they wear (and which I too find so useful) would have ever been invented.

Most years I set aside half the total grape production (I have several other vines of a couple of different varieties) for both juicing and wine making. The bugger is I really can't (and shouldn't) drink any of the vino. At least not so long as things stay as they are.

Still, I'm ever hopeful that in the future things will change for the better.

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