How to Train Grape Vines

Overview

Growing and training grape vines is not difficult, but it does require patience. For the first two years of growth, the focus should be on training the trunk of the vine. This enables the vine to grow strong roots and a trunk that is straight and thick, which will promote much better fruit production in the future. It then takes two more years to properly train the lateral shoots.

Step 1

Prune the vine. Immediately after planting, prune it back to just one stem with only two or three buds showing. Wait for new growth.

Step 2

Watch for new growth (shoots) to reach between six and ten inches. When that happens, select the strongest and fastest-growing shoot. Tie it to a training stake, such as a bamboo stake. Or, tie the tip of the shoot to the top wire of your post or vertical trellis.

Step 3

Prune off all other shoots. Pinch any new growth from the shoot back to the leaves on the shoot. Continue to do this during the first year of growth.

Step 4

Select two of the strongest shoots the second year and tie them around each horizontal wire. Allow them to grow along the wire. Remove the rest of the shoots.

Step 5

Prune off any competing shoots as the canes grow. During the second winter, prune the main two horizontal canes down to five buds on each cane. This will allow for better fruit.

Things You'll Need

  • Training stakes
  • String
  • Pruning shears

References

  • NC State University: Training a Grape Vine

Who Can Help

  • Oregon State University: Growing Grapes in Your Home Garden
Keywords: prune canes, train grape vines, shoots

About this Author

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. She has worked as an educator and now writes academic research content for EBSCO Publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.