How to Train New Grape Vines

Written by emma watkins
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How to Train New Grape Vines
A well-trained grapevine is a high-producing plant. (Grapevine image by Tomasz Pawlowski from

Training grapevines at planting and for the next few years helps them to develop a healthy root system, according to the Oregon State University Cooperative Extension Service. The result is a grapevine that consistently produces abundant quality crops. Among the different training methods of training by pruning is the "high-wire cordon system," which requires a one-wire trellis.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • One-wire trellis
  • Shears
  • Tomato stake
  • Twine

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  1. 1

    Build a one-wire trellis at the time you plant your grapevine. Place the posts 20 feet apart and link them with a piece of 9-gauge wire, which will support your grapevine.

  2. 2

    Prune all canes on your grapevine back to the main trunk at planting.

  3. 3

    Trim the trunk to three buds.

  4. 4

    Select the strongest shoot among the ones that sprouted from the three buds you retained in Step 3. Wait until they reach a length of 6 inches to make your decision. Keep the one you selected and remove all others.

  5. 5

    Insert a tomato stake in the ground next to the grapevine. Tie the stem you kept to it.

  6. 6

    Prune lateral shoots that sprout back to the main trunk.

  7. 7

    Trim the tip of the cane you staked in Step 5. Tie it to the 9-gauge wire when it reaches that height.

  8. 8

    Prune all new shoots---except for the two most vigorous ones---the following spring.

  9. 9

    Tie the two shoots you retained to the wire. Place them on opposite sides.

  10. 10

    Remove all new shoots that grew after your last pruning. Take this step in the winter. Your grapevine will be left with two canes tied to the wire and the main trunk.

  11. 11

    Prune the two canes back to 5 feet.

  12. 12

    Select eight canes that sprouted on each of the two stems tied to the wire. Choose canes placed 3 inches to 8 inches from each other. Remove all the other shoots. Your grapevine now has 16 side stems, eight on each side. Do this one year after you complete Step 10. It will be winter again.

  13. 13

    Cut each of the 16 canes back to two buds. These canes are your fruiting spurs. Your grapevine is ready to begin production.

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