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When to prune a grapevine Dornfelder


I have a dornfelder grapevine and it it growing rather rampantly. It is about 4 years old and getting a bit out of control. I have (ehum) not pruned it just let it get on with it. As it is getting everywhere and blocking light out to the border I need to rein it in a bit. When would be a good time to try to get some kind of framework done? The various branches probably reaches at least 20 odd meters.

The grapes also tends to be rather small but that might be because I either pick them too early or let too many ripen. When do people pick theirs? I start in September.


  • I prune mine in January or Early February.  The hard wood stems bleed if cut when the sap is rising.  (Soft unripe stems heal quickly though)

    I cut back to the main rod to two buds. I use mine as a canopy over the patio table, so have one main trunk and 4 rods.  It will grow easily 3 to 4 metres plus in a season

    Grapes, remove every bunch but 1 in a 2 foot area. Depending where you are pick as soon as sweet for desert or as soon as ripe for wine making.  I tend to trim the leaves off in mid sept to allow the sun to get to the bunches which helps ripen them.

    You might get good bunches with long rods, but if you want Vineyard bunches, then you will only leave a few bunches and prune regularly in the summer to ensure the sun ripens the fruit and to keep all the energy going into the grapes not growth.

    Hope that helps


  • SwedboySwedboy Posts: 325

    Thank you. I probably need to remove quite a lot of it this winter. i need to figure out how to retrain it. Currently there is a ledge behind I which doesn't help.

    As for what I use them for, I just eat them. I love the fact that I can just go out in the garden and pick thi


  • SwedboySwedboy Posts: 325

    Finally there was a clear day here in Bristol so the Grape vine has been pruned. Hopefully the haircut will not cause it to pop its clogs. Got about 3/4 of a waste bag full of branches.

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