It is February and in zone 5 the time of year to prune our grape plants. The plants are still dormant and the sap has not begun to flow. This year it is a breeze to do the pruning as the snow has all disappeared and with the sunshiny days we feel like getting outside to do spring work. Usually this time of year there is about a foot of snow and it is hard to think about getting outside to do the dormant winter pruning.
When you are pruning your backyard grapes they may not look like the professional vineyards and have a perfect form to the plant; that is ok and you can just work with what you have. The goal is to have about 40 buds left on the starter plant. The vines will grow out 17 to 23 feet from the plant in a season, that is why there is such a large pile of vines cut away from the plant. These are great to start your grape plants with.
Now is a good time of year to prune all your fruit trees so that when the buds begin to swell they will not be knocked off as the branches fall down from the sawing. We cut them back further than usual to allow for walking on the sidewalk and to give them a healthy start. Last year the branches were so long and low that they would comb through our hair every time we walked in or out of the house. 🙂
Well I better get back to work…Spring is coming, ready or not!