I went two seasons without fruit from my Swenson Red grape vine. It was one of the first additions to my bonsai vineyard, and I’ve been struggling with how to prune it. Two years ago, I decided that Swenson Red needs cane pruning to bear fruit.
Canes or spurs?
Canes are just long “branches” of one year old wood with one or two dozen buds along their length. If they had just a few buds, four or so, then they would be a lot shorter and we would call them spurs. I had been spur pruning because it’s easier to take vines in and out of pots, while I trim their roots, without long fragile canes whipping about.
Letting the vine decide
Easier doesn’t get you very far if the varietal doesn’t bear fruit that way, so last year I pruned to canes. I was careful not to jostle them when I tended the vine, re-potted it, or just walked past it. Well it looks like it may have been worth the effort. I’ve noticed a few clusters on my Swenson Red and I’m looking forward to my first crop in three years!
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