It's that time of year again, pruning time! Pruning for 2021 has begun and it is going well. This is an exciting time of the year even if it is hard on our hands. It's time to cut away last year's growth and look ahead to this year's!
Here is what the vines look like before we have pruned them.
Now it is time for us to get in there and finish the job.
The vines look so much better now. It is amazing how much wood you start out with just to cut most of it away! Now the vines are ready for this season's growth.
Each arm has "spurs" and each spur has buds. We like to clip the spurs down to 2 buds. We don't count the basal bud when we count buds because the 1st and 2nd buds are more fruitful. Think of the basal bud as a "just in case" bud.
We usually leave all the spurs that we can because the more spurs you have, the more fruit you have.
Everything that is growing out of the sides of the arm or from the bottom we cut off. We only want the spurs that are growing from the top. The top spurs help the canopy to be tall and straight for the summer.
The whole family gets out in the vineyard during pruning time. It is definitely a family affair. We take a break at the end of every row. Even if it is just 5 minutes, every second helps!
When we prune, we have two groups of pruners. In the first group, everyone cuts away the growth from the sides and bottoms. They also trim the arm length if it needs it.
In the second group there is just one person. That person follows the first group and cleans up behind them, cutting down to size the growth on the top of the arm.
We like to call this person "the cleaner". If the cleaner starts to fall behind, the first group helps clean up some for the cleaner so they can catch back up. The cleaner can move down the row pretty fast. Most of the time, the cleaner will use two clippers. That really speeds them up.
We have almost finished pruning for 2021, a few more acres to go. We are definitely counting down the days! Of course the vineyard work doesn't stop once we finish pruning but it is definitely easier and not crunch time.
A pruned vineyard is such a good sight. We can not wait to be done with pruning and see what God has in store for us this year!
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