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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Wait for Cold to Pass Before Pruning Grapes

Q. Should I cut my grapes back now or wait until spring?

A. I don’t like to finish pruning my grapes until about March 1. This is because I don’t know what kind of damage they will sustain this winter because of the cold and wind. If I prune them back to very short spurs or canes now, I run the risk of losing my crop or a majority of it.
            I usually prune grapes in two steps in our Las Vegas climate; the first step I remove most of this last year’s growth down to about 18 to 24 inches long. Then I wait for the majority of the winter to pass.
Leaving growth really long through the winter
            The second step occurs close to the first week of March. This is the time when I prune the remainder of last year’s growth down to about one or 2 inches long if I I am producing on spurs and about 12 to 15 inches long if I am producing on canes.
Spur cut back leaving only 1 to 2 inches
Do not cut your grapes back yet. Wait until the major cold weather has passed.

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