Monday, January 18, 2010

Being Resourceful with Grapevines

This weekend we pruned grapevines.  Aaron kindly reminded me that I did not help with this task last winter...only in the summer did I help.  Can you blame me?  But, I came around this year and we took advantage of the sunshine and the temps above freezing to get the grapevines ready for spring budbreak.  It was so nice out this weekend, we actually contemplated having a picnic outside in the snow.  Only Minnesotans would consider that in 34 degree weather. 

Winter is far from over, but once the vines come out of dormancy, they'll grow like crazy.  Pruning was a hard thing for me to wrap my head around because we basically took all the excess vines that grew last summer and chopped them all off.  I thought it would just be a snip here and a snip there, but it felt more like a butcher.  8 feet of out of control grapevines and shoots---Gone.  I know, seems counterproductive, but trust me, it's what we are supposed to do. 

Now they are nice and trimmed up and in a trellis system so they are much better prepared for spring.  No more excess growth that would otherwise use up energy and prevent grapes from developing and riping.

For some reason, "Welcome to the Jungle" plays through my head when I look at this picture.  You can't tell where one grapevine starts and the other begins.

So we cut off all that excess growth and on some vines, used this "Scott Henry" system.

And on the others, used the traditional "Vertical Shoot Positioning" (VSP) system.

Ahhh...they look so much better.  It's like getting a good haircut.

What did I do with the piles and piles of trimmed off grapevines?

I made grapevine wreaths!

I love when I can be resourceful like that!