When to prune the vine

When to prune the vine

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When to prune the vine: instructions on how to prune the vineand how to find the right time for the pruning of the vine. Advice on how to proceed (which branches to cut). Instructions on summer pruning, spring pruning and winter pruning of the vine. Advice on how to obtain an excellent grape with a good sugar content.

Not everyone knows but… thepruningit greatly affects the quality of the harvested grapes and its transformation. A high sugar content will give life to an excellent wine grape. In this article we will seehow to prune the vine, which branches to cut and how to do in case of green pruning (spring and summer) and dry pruning (winter).

Period for pruning the vineyard

When it comes topruning of the vinetwo different references are made periods for two different techniques of pruning: green pruning and dry pruning, which correspond, respectively, towinter pruningand the summer pruning of the vineyard.

There summer pruning of the vine (or green pruning) helps to define a well-defined vegetative development while the winter pruning (or dry pruning of the vine) maintains the set training system by further acting on the load of buds left on the plant.

Controlling the load of buds, with pruning, affects the quality and quantity of the harvest.

How much to prune the vine?Winter pruning or dry pruning

It defines itselfwinter pruningbut it may have started as early as the fall. Therewinter pruning of the vineit is performed when the leaves fall but is postponed to winter in Northern Italy and in the mountain areas where the arrival of the cold already breaks in autumn.

Before starting the dry pruning it is necessary to wait for the leaves to fall, the reason? Maximum accumulation of reserve nutrients in the shoots, stem and roots must be ensured.

When to prune the vine in the North and Center-North

In Northern Italy, in the mountainous areas and in the Center-North, winter pruning should be postponed after the coldest period, so the best time to prune the vine is from mid-January onwards. This precaution is valid only in areas with very severe winters and with temperatures below -7, -8 ° C.

How much to prune the vine in the South and Center-South

In Southern Italy it is possible to prune the vine already in autumn. The pruning of the vine can be anticipated to the autumn period in those areas and for those cultivation of vines where the risks of cold damage are minimal, namely:

  • Vineyards cultivated in hilly areas.
  • Vineyards grown in areas with a mild climate.
  • Cultivations of early ripening vines such as Pinot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon bianco ...
  • Cultivations of medium-late ripening vines and early harvest.
  • The cultivation of low espalier vineyards such as Guyot or spurred cordon, provided that these vineyards are older than 5-6 years.

When to prune the vine?Green pruning

Therepruninggreen should be administered in two differentperiodsof the year. The proper green pruning should be done in summer (summer pruning) but there is also onespring pruningbetter defined sucking off. Let's see all the details together.

Spollonatura and Scacchiatura (mid April)

There is no specific period to provide for suckling and weeding. Spollonatura removes the shoots originating from the root system and the pedal (those that originate along the stem, the so-called suckers).

The scacchiatura eliminates the surplus shoots that have sprung up on the secondary and crown buds. Specifically, with sacking, injured, weak or sterile shoots are eliminated.

When to green vine pruning?

Checking and sucking are carried out at the same time, when the shoots are easily removable and the bunches are in any case already visible. Generally, the ideal period falls in the middle or the end of April. The suckling and the spotting are carried out when the shoots have, on average, a length of about 15-20 cm and therefore can be easily eliminated.

La Cimatura (by the end of June)

In summer pruning the so-called cutting of the shoots is included. The topping of the shoots is necessary to favor the formation of new leaves, useful for the production of the bunches. When it comes to green pruning and cutting of the shoots, it is necessary to finish the intervention by the end of June to allow the vine to develop new shoots (the female shoots) in the time necessary to allow the clusters to grow and ripen.

When it comes to green pruningit is important not to act late: a pruning carried out in the height of summer would force the vine to invest an excessive load of energy to rebuild the lost foliage, thus removing nutrients from the bunches that would not be able to finish the ripening phase in the best way. Late pruning of the vine they would risk lowering the sugar content and quality of the grapes.

How to choose the scissors to prune the vine

There are many types of scissors on the market, from traditional ones with curved blade, to pneumatic or ratchet scissors. Each type of scissors is well suited for pruning some tree species and others a little less.

Although many winemakers for thepruning of the vine recommend the use ofdouble-edged blade scissors, the classic curved blade scissor is more suitable for pruning vineyards, which is also the most common scissors, so you probably already have it in your kit of agricultural tools!

Of course, if the vineyard is very large it is possible to optimize pruning times by purchasing pneumatic scissors. The compressed air shears or pneumatic scissors are very popular with farms that deal with the cultivation of olive trees or vineyards. Those who are sensitive to noise and want to maximize comfort can opt for a pair of electric scissors.

For an overview of prices and models of scissors suitable for pruning the vineyard, I refer you to "This Page”Amazon where there are some interesting proposals.

How to grow the vine

For further information, I would like to point out other articles on vineyard management and cultivation of the vine:

  • Grafting the vine, the ideal period
  • How to grow table grapes
  • Grapes, properties and contraindications

Video: How to Prune Grapevines (August 2022).