Usually used in wines, juices or as everyday food staple, Concord grapes are specifically derived from another particular species known as fox grapes. They appear dark blue or purple in color and are typically covered with a thin light-colored layer, which can be easily scraped off. Concord grapes are widely planted in the state of Washington, producing about 8% of the total United States grape harvest.
Owning a Concord grape vineyard is indeed an additional source of profit, if not the primary one. Knowing how to properly prune your grapevines would provide you with quality wines and juices, which could be readily sold in the market. This in turn would increase the amount of money you’d get for such an industry.
Here are some tips on how you can properly prune your Concord grapevines.
- Know when to prune. Plan on when you are going to prune your grapevines. The best time to do this is when the plant is still in the dormancy stage usually in late winter, near the start of spring. Also, before starting the actual pruning, you should gather the needed materials and equipment such as pruning shears, a good set of gardening gloves and a container where you can put your discarded vines.
- Untangle the vines. If there are two or more grapevines growing onto each other, straighten them out so that you will be able to know which of the two shoots should be kept or not. This also facilitates the process of actual cuttings. Moreover, this helps the plant achieve optimum growth since there is more space for your grapevines to flourish.
- Remove old and unproductive vines. Cut off arms with a dark-colored, coarse and shedding bark. These vines are considered old and generally unproductive. You would want to get rid of these types since they occupy the space and hinder the growth of much younger vines. Locate also differently colored vines, which would indicate that they are already dead and are not functioning properly.
- Make way for sunlight. Get rid of the old growths on top of the vine support. This would allow sunlight to pass through and reach the lower parts of the plant. Sunlight would allow your younger vines to develop and grow further.
- Set a constant number of buds. Make sure to leave at least 60 buds on your grapevines. This number would vary depending also on the number of arms that you have decided to keep. Approximate the number of buds needed with the amount or number of arms retained. This would ensure that you acquire both quality and quantity come harvest time.
- Prune again during spring and summer. When there is new growth, remove the vines that are weak and leave only the strongest ones, which would bear better fruits. During summer after the vines have fruited, take out the new growths and get rid of the leaves that shade the other clusters of fruit. This should let the grapes attain the greatest amount of sunlight while still growing.
After you have followed the steps mentioned, you can expect your plant to produce a lot of quality Concord grapes. The process of pruning brings about maximum growth, as well as, provides you with a more productive and successful harvest.