About Gardening: Grape Arbor Care
by Mira Dessy
We have a beautiful grape arbor that produces each year, however, I know when my Mom was alive she cut it way back one year. I don't know how often to do this and at what time of year. Also do you know if you fertilize them and with what and when?
Grapes bear fruit only on canes which are the stems from the last year. Therefore you should prune in late winter so that you can identify the newer growth and not cut that. When you cut the older canes they will leak a little sap, but this is harmless to the vine and will seal off the edge. One easy way to mark the new canes so that you do not accidentally cut them off is to identify them with a ribbon, I do this with my blueberries and raspberries. You want to cut back the older canes to the point where you see little spurs or buds, this will become the new canes the next year and this year's new cane will produce fruit.
You don't say which method you are using to train your grapes (depends on arbor type and grape variety). You may want to get a book out of the library that talks about training methods for fruits or talk to your local cooperative extension service and see if they have any free literature for you about this subject.
I am not aware of any fertilizers specifically for grapes. Basically they need lots of direct sunlight and well drained soil. Hope this helps.
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