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Haven't a clue Grapevine Cultivation - help!

We have a Black Hamburgh grapevine which we planted in the polytunnel 14 years ago. The polytunnel was not in a good way (inherited) and work commitments meant that it was totally neglected - the rips in the polytunnel was probably all that kept the poor vine alive in terms of watering.
It was pruned last year and again this year. Last year it even produced some fruit - albeit a few tiny bunches. We are now retired and want to make amends; we have made a start by re-covering the polytunnel. The grape is growing well ... but can anyone please advise what to do right now - does it need pruning/cutting back side shoots or should we just leave it and wait (hopefully) for the fruit to appear, just cutting off excess flower clusters? And, of course, feeding.


  • tui34tui34 Posts: 3,442
    Good evening @ShepherdsBarn

    That looks like a good vine you have there.  Vines are prone to humidity and they can do with a dusting of sulphur powder now, to combat odium.

    You don't need to cut anything back - yet.  Leave it to flower and maybe if it gets too prolific, you could trim the trailing branches - August.  Just to keep it nice and tidy.
    A copper spray is good too and you could find it gets some larvae in the leaves - a general vine spray should keep that in check.  

    You don't need to keep it watered at the roots - the do need to "suffer" a bit.  Leaves get brown edges - normal - the whole plant can't be perfect!!

    I hope you get some fruit - I am in constant battle with wasps and birds - I have about 6 or 7 table grapes in my garden.

    When all the leaves have dropped off in December/January, and the vine is dormant, you can then prune off the old wood and just leave one branch of new wood.

    Good luck with the fruit!

    A good hoeing is worth two waterings.

  • SkandiSkandi Posts: 1,723
    It won't need as much water as you think, it's roots extend well outside the tunnel so it will be getting plenty of rain water anyway.
    I found that the one in my greenhouse needed a lot of pruning to stop it taking over, after it flowered I cut everything back to 2 leaves and then in the winter cut it all back to the main stem. If you're going to let it get longer then train it along the north side of the tunnel, it will cast less shade on your planting that way.
  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 2,661
    Ours in a greenhouse is cut back in the winter/early spring to the main stems. Then the new growth comes and any on the main trunk are rubbed off so that the main growth is upper.
    We have recently though suffered with mildrew, first time ever. so we are keeping a good eye on the growth.
    These are for eating grapes but surplus are made into wine.
    We also have outdoor white wine grapes that produce a great harvest each year and great wine for later.
  • ShepherdsBarnShepherdsBarn Posts: 401
    Thank you all for your comments and advice. 😀
    Just another quick question ... we want to tie one of the trailing branches (new growth - bottom right in the photo) to the main top support - but to do that, we would have to prune another shorter branch of new growth because it would touch the top and break (although already broken in one place). Would it harm the grape if we pruned that out at this time in the season? I am just worried that it might 'bleed' and harm the vine.      Any help would be appreciated. 😊

  • tui34tui34 Posts: 3,442
    I don't think a wee prune would hurt the plant.  Go for it!!
    A good hoeing is worth two waterings.

  • ShepherdsBarnShepherdsBarn Posts: 401
    👍 Thank you ... just what I wanted to hear. 😃
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