Grape vines are grown in many home gardens for the sweet fresh fruit or for making juices or wine. However, one of the most neglected parts of growing grapes is pruning, according to Michele Warmund from the Department of Horticulture of the University of Missouri. Pruning grape vines helps train the grapes, and it aids in the production of healthy fruit and canes. Each time you prune grape vines, you should remove up to 90 percent of the old wood, wood produced the prior season, to promote new growth, according to the University of Oregon.
Prune grapes while they are dormant, between fall and early spring. According to the University of Missouri, late winter pruning is best. Prune mature grape vines yearly.
Select two to four canes per grape plant and cut them back to between 15 and 80 buds per plant with the loopers. Leave more buds for tabletop grapes and fewer buds for wine and juice grapes. Each plant should only have four to six canes, according to the University of Minnesota.
Remove spurs from the main canes. Cut them off with the pruning shears. Space each spur 4 to 6 inches apart and leave no more than 80 buds per plant, according to the University of Oregon.
Remove all other old wood from the grape vines with the loopers.