Grape vines need annual pruning. Because I grow mine in pots, they also need annual root trimming. I’m still getting the hang of this, but my current thinking is to train my grape vines to a vertical cordon. The single permanent trunk with fruiting spurs (short one year old branches) will be compact and easy to remove for root trimming. It won’t need much more than a stake for support either.
The photo above shows a Siegerrebe grape vine after I pruned it and just before root trimming. That was on March 28, 2007. You can see two spurs, well they maybe a bit large for spurs, and I’m expecting a small crop on them this year.
I’m trimming the roots in the above photo. My goal is to keep the whole root structure small enough to fit in the pot. I’m also trying to keep the root mass as productive as possible. The roots of any plant, including grape vines, are mostly structural. It’s only the fine tip that is actually collecting water and nutrients for the plant. When I trim the roots then, I’m looking to get rid of the big woody roots and leave a mass of small feeder roots.
This is what it looks like when all is said and done. Now it’s ready to go back in the pot and make me some grapes!
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