Pruning grapevines in summer: that’s how it works

As in professional viticulture, it is also advisable to prune vines in the home garden in summer. During the summer pruning, superfluous shoots are removed, long shoots shortened and stingy shoots in the leaf axils are pinched out.

Grapevines are among the fruit trees that bloom the latest in the year. Only in June do many varieties open their delicately fragrant flowers, which are known in technical jargon as “peculiar”. In order for vines and table grapes to invest their strength in the development of the berries and not in the formation of shoots, too long, fruit-bearing tendrils have to be cut in midsummer to four to five leaves behind the last fruit set. The stinging shoots in the leaf axils should be removed if they are extremely long or as strong as the associated main shoot.

How do you prune vines in summer?

Too long, fruit-bearing tendrils are cut back to four to five leaves behind the last fruit set. Very long, strong stinging shoots in the leaf axils are also removed. Little by little, individual leaves in the grape zone should also be removed and a very heavy crop of fruit thinned out.

Defoliate grapevines in summer

Defoliation of the grapevines is also a very important maintenance measure in summer: Individual leaves are cut off in the grape zone. The grapes dry faster after rainfall and are not so easily attacked by gray mold. In addition, the berries are better exposed and therefore store more sugar and aromatic substances. Blue grape varieties also produce more color, which leads to better coloring of the berries.

However, be careful with late-ripening vines that are grown on sunny south-facing walls: If you break out too many leaves at once, although the berries have not yet fully developed their protective wax layer, sunburn can cause brown spots. It is therefore better to remove the leaves little by little at intervals of two to three weeks. Also, note that not all grapes on the same vine ripen at the same time. The harvest often takes up to two weeks. For white grapes and table grapes, wait until the skin turns greenish-yellow and translucent. In the case of dark varieties, the color changes from red-violet to deep blue. If there is a lot of fruit, you should cut out some of the grapes in June / August – this benefits the fruit quality of the other grapes as they are better nourished by the vine.

Healthy ingredients from dark grapes

The skin of dark grapes also contains another healthy substance: resveratrol. It keeps the heart fit, increases the level of the “good” HDL cholesterol, inhibits the multiplication of viruses in the body and is even said to slow down the development of cancer. Resveratrol is naturally found in red grape juice and also in red wine. However, scientists now doubt that daily consumption of red wine extends life. Regular alcohol consumption increases the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases – and thus reverses the positive properties of the secondary plant substance resveratrol.

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