J 5 Posts: 1
in Fruit & veg
We have grapevines about 10 years old grown over a pergola for shade. But instead of enjoying a glass of wine under lightly dappled shade, it's all rather gloomy and chilly on all but the hottest summer days.
I prune back hard in January as recommended, but plants are too healthy! Would benign neglect rein them in and slow them down?
Any suggestions most welcome
You've got a very happy grapevine and I've a feeling that benign neglect would suit it just fine and it would romp away.
If you're growing it purely for its shade rather than it's fruit then there's nothing to stop you from pruning off side shoots where it's too thick and even removing some leaves as required.
Be thankful for small mercies - my Boskoop Glory planted last year is taking it's time to get going.
As Dove says, you can prune back any unwanted growth exactly as you wish - you will not harm it. The only time not to prune is in early spring, when the sap is rising and growth first starts - pruning then could make it bleed to death. I have one about 60 feet long and have to remove about half of the growth about 3 times over the summer or it gets totally out of control. In fact it needs doing again now - just took this photo of where it goes over an arch before continuing down the garden:
Whatever you do, don't feed it.