Prune the vine

Prune the vine

The vine is among the fruit plants, the most widespread and cultivated in Italy. It is easy to understand, as the forms of farming and pruning techniques are very varied, because they are greatly affected by cultural factors, typical of the areas in which they are bred. Indeed, in the same climatic environment, even in neighboring vineyards it is enough to set out and find that it is not difficult to find different forms of farming. The vine has two types of gems: one with wood and the other with mixed stones. From the wood one will develop only buds, from the mixed one the buds and the fruit. During pruning operations, care must be taken not to eliminate mixed buds. In fact these are not always present on all the nodes but, depending on the type of vine, they can be found already from the first node, or after the third or fourth. This feature greatly influences the training system and the pruning technique. Mixed gems are preferably found on one-year shoots from young woods, which were productive the year before. The shoots that are much less productive as they have few mixed buds can be used for the formation of spurs, but not for fruit. From March to October, the vine undergoes a profound development, leading to very different and very characterized stages of growth. For the purpose of pruning therefore, it will be very useful to know if in a general way this vegetative trend.


In April the buds of the vine open; Thus the development of the shoot begins, whose growth will end around August. This period passes under the name of sprout chin. In the first days of the month of May the development of the leaves begins which ends towards the end of August. At the end of May it is already possible to observe the bunches growing from fruit-bearing buds. In the unfortunate event of a severe meteorological event such as a dense hailstorm, it is advisable to intervene immediately with an appropriate pruning of the most affected parts, thus reducing the loss of production. In this way, in fact, the gems that are at that moment still in the dormant state are stimulated to open up and thus bring the plant to fruiting. The crucial period for the vine is that of the month of June when, the flowering takes place and the flowers become fruit and during the following months of July and August the leaves, branches and berries continue to swell. In this period the formation of hibernating buds destined to develop in the following year also ends and the plant takes advantage if the so-called green pruning is practiced.


During the development that takes place in the spring-summer period it is good to eliminate part of the vegetative organs, which do not contribute directly to the production in progress and not even to the formation of the structure for the following year. In the vineyard, after winter pruning, other operations are carried out which in the order are: topping, binding, side-stripping and picking. The main objectives of these interventions are two: the first to restore the balance between the vegetative and productive function of the vine; while the second to favor the emission of new shoots from the ready buds. With the topping the development of the shoots is slowed down to favor the enlargement of the berries. The branches are thus pruned after the seventh and eighth buds above the bunch. It can be performed in two very precise moments: either one intervenes ten days before flowering in order to obtain rich and compact clusters or pruning ten days after flowering (late topping). In this case, the formation of young women is stimulated with the increase in fruit production, the complete lignification of the branches and the maturation of the grapes.


With the binding required above all for the vine shapes that develop in only one direction, the shoots that invade the inter-row or tend downwards supporting them with two threads are oriented upwards, usually of thin string along the sides of the row in so as to promote a development that is harvested and to facilitate the execution of anti-parasitic treatments. This operation can be performed easily with special machines, as they make the operation quick and economical. The advantages obtained from the binding justify its implementation. At the end the plant is more illuminated and airy, and consequently the bunches, being no longer shaded by the leaves, are less subject to attacks by both animal and vegetable parasites. The sfmminellatura consists in eliminating the non-productive parts, favors the reaction of the plant, the lignification of the shoots and above all it achieves some excellent results on the little vigorous plants when it intervenes at the end of August. On the other hand, with the picking, the leaves in excess are eliminated thus favoring the exposure of the bunches to the sun and the consequent ripening of the berries. Even pesticide treatments are more effective as the active ingredient is able to affect almost all the part affected by the parasite. The elimination of the leaves, however, must not be excessive as they help to promote the complete lignification of the shoots.