Autumn pruning of grapes, raspberries, currants

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The end of the season in the country is not only about cleaning and plowing the garden. The garden also needs your attention, and especially grapes, raspberries, currants, and other berry and ornamental shrubs require it. How to prune correctly so as not to damage the plants and give them potential for the next year should be figured out in advance..

Autumn pruning of grapes, raspberries, currants

Why prune shrubs in the fall

The main reason for pruning raspberries or currants after summer is the need for urgent revitalizing removal of old and damaged branches. Unlike trees, garden shrubs can be pruned completely and with equal success both in early spring and immediately after leaf shedding..

Autumn pruning of grapes, raspberries, currants

This, however, does not apply to the specific care of some shrub varieties. An example of this is the Cumberland raspberry, which must be cut twice a year. This variety requires the mandatory removal of shoots older than two years immediately after the fall in autumn temperatures..

Since most of the branches in shrubs are thin and close to the ground, you can not be shy about pruning. In autumn, it is more convenient to do this: if during fruiting you closely watched the crop, you have a clear idea of ​​the weak points of the bushes and colonies, as well as the volumes of fruiting in different tiers. Accordingly, you should be aware of the remains of the resource of the largest branches of gooseberries or currants..

Autumn pruning of grapes, raspberries, currants

You can also recommend autumn pruning for summer residents who run the risk of guessing the wrong moment to perform the same actions in the spring. If you did not have time to cut the berry bushes before the spring awakening this year, pruning in the fall is required, otherwise there will be large crop losses next year.

When to start pruning and what you need to do it

Usually, autumn pruning is carried out immediately after leaf fall, when the temperature remains above zero during the day, and at night it is cold enough, but frost has not yet come. It is also advisable to prune in the dry period after Indian summer, but again: do not forget that some varieties may require a very peculiar care.

Autumn pruning of grapes, raspberries, currants

Don’t be fooled by the thickness and lightness of the branches. To work, you need a good pruning shear, preferably with a ratchet. In order for the shrub to winter well, the cut must have time to overgrow before the onset of cold weather. Fortunately, in middle-tier crops, this process is easier than in trees, but in no case should the bark and breaks remain. There is no need to process sections with garden pitch.

Autumn pruning of grapes, raspberries, currants

If when working with currants, only long sleeves and cotton gloves are enough, then some varieties of raspberries and blackberries can unpleasantly surprise with long and very hard needles. It is better to keep tight leather leggings ready when processing such bushes, and protect your arms higher up with a synthetic jacket.

Whether to remove dead wood

Yes, yes and yes again! This is the main purpose of the autumn pruning of garden shrubs. All dry branches that were marked in the summer are cut to the very base, without leaving a hemp. But it’s not that simple.

Dry branches of currants and gooseberries are usually quite large and sometimes you have to saw them with a short-toothed hacksaw. Be careful and trim carefully so as not to “loosen” the trunk. Due to the increased fragility, the branch must be held with one hand during pruning..

Autumn pruning of grapes, raspberries, currants

Dead wood of raspberries is almost all shoots aged from two years and older. In autumn, they are clearly visible due to shaggy bark growths. There is no sense from these branches, autumn pruning will allow the plant to quickly recuperate next year and release a lot of new growth.

Autumn pruning of grapes, raspberries, currants

Dead wood from all berry bushes should be cut directly at the root, leaving no cuttings. Even if the branch is damp to the touch at the very base, it most likely will not give the required number of young shoots, so it must be completely removed.

Correct bush formation

Efforts and attention to bring the bushes into proper form is required no less than when forming crowns of fruit trees. There are two things you need to do to trim properly:

  1. Remove branches that are only 2-3 years less than the maximum fruiting period.
  2. Thin the bush so that all shoots receive the same amount of light.

Usually, when pruning raspberries, 7-8 stems are left for bush planting and 3-4 for planting by dropping or on a trellis. You can cut off the tops of most raspberry varieties right away, but it is better to wait for spring and cut off not only dried tops, but also underdeveloped buds at a time.

Autumn pruning of grapes, raspberries, currants Scheme for pruning a currant bush. 1. Lying and old branches. 2. Young branches. 3. Young shoots are thinned out to form the correct bush shape.

Currants are trimmed in a similar manner. Relatively young branches are almost never touched, especially in red and white currants, where berries are formed precisely at the tops. As a result, about 15–20 branches from 4–5 different generations should remain on the bush. The oldest are pruned, leaving 3-4 healthy strong buds: next year they will give new shoots. Weak thin branches of black currants are usually cut off completely, regardless of age, and stronger ones are only slightly shortened to build clusters.

Autumn pruning of grapes, raspberries, currants

Gooseberries have to be cut only partially in the fall. Since this shrub produces a lot of undergrowth, it is wise to split the pruning in two stages so as not to cause severe stress to the plant. Pruning is carried out at the root, and as a result, the bush is very noticeably thinning, at the base of it there are no more than 5-8 branches. Do not forget to start the second pruning stage in spring 2-3 weeks before the bright green buds appear. If you do not have time, leave the bush until autumn as it is.

Autumn pruning of grapes, raspberries, currants

Shoot pruning technique

Separately, it is worth touching on the topic of pruning young shoots in height. Very often tall crops require this, while the bushes seem to be laid out in different directions and artificially lowered.

Those who have at least once pruned the vertical branches of fruit trees will confidently cope with this work. The principle is the same: retreat a step distance of 15–25 cm from the place of the previous trimming and cut off the top at a right angle. The only difference is that the shrub expels only one new shoot directly under the cut, so this bud should be in the right direction, and the cutting above it should last about 10 cm.

Autumn pruning of grapes, raspberries, currants

Do not overdo it with the layout of the bush: the branches should not lie on the ground. If so, lighten them and trim off the ends so that the outermost bud is pointing up or up and to the side. This pruning technique is rarely used for “early ripening” shrubs, but if currants, for example, can yield up to eight years from a branch, it makes sense to care for it in this way.

Features of autumn pruning of grapes

In conclusion, let’s briefly touch on the topic of grape pruning. It is carried out exclusively in the fall, with the exception of young non-fertile cuttings of last year’s autumn planting.

Autumn pruning of grapes, raspberries, currants

Pruning is carried out after the first frost, having waited a week after the grapes have shed their leaves. You should not delay this work: if the first frosts hit right after pruning, next year the vine will grow sluggishly and will give a very modest harvest.

When pruning, remove all young shoots that are formed on boles and closer than half a meter to the ground. Further, the taller shoots are pruned with a remainder of 10-15% of their length, starting from the base. As a result, after pruning, an adult vine should have 4-5 levels of branching, while only small cuttings remain on each arm, from which in the spring the grapes will throw out arrows with bunches.

Autumn pruning of grapes, raspberries, currants

Remember, however, that these are general guidelines only. Each specific variety has its own, optimal pruning and pinching schemes, which determine not only the yield, but also the taste of the berries.

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