Grapes

Today, we went into the garden. A mostly ignored neglected place that we had high hopes for last spring. We found a few edible things, and thigh high weeds.
BUT, along the wall were lots and lots of grapes. Some as small as a dime and smaller with a couple of hundred on a cluster. Then some big honkers bigger than a quarter, some of them turning purple and very sweet.
These vines were planted probably three to five years ago. They have had no care in the last two.
I want to get in there just as soon as it cools off, and till out the whole thing and do it right next year. I have had gardens, but this year, listened to SWMBO's schemes, and we ended up with a winter's supply of food. If we were cows. Next year will be different, as she has seen that gardens require a person to go in at LEAST once a week, and more if you want more and better stuff. But like most gardeners, they get bit hard, and then it wears off in a week.
I could use some sites that make understanding pruning grapes simple. Also watering and fertilizing. I've been reading some of the top sites listed on Google, but would like some that have pictures, so I can associate what's being said. I think if I go in this fall and cut back and build proper trellises that I can have a pretty good crop of grapes this coming year. We all like grapes, so I might even get some help.
Our peaches are ripening, and that tree had seven boxes of very sweet peaches last year. And I think we have three almonds. ;-)
Thanks in advance.
Steve
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"...the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere
critic-the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly,
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viticulture
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Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA

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On 8/3/2008 2:44 PM, SteveB wrote:

Grapes do quite well with severe pruning. Go to the nearest large public library and see if they have Sunset's book on pruning, which has a large section on pruning grapes. It describes two pruning methods -- spur and cane -- one of which is supposedly appropriate for a given variety of grape.
While grapes do need some moisture, they do not require abundant water. Also, they do not require abundant nutrients; good topsoil is sufficient. In some parts of Europe, excellent wine grapes are grown in soil that is little better than decomposed chalk.
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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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SteveB wrote:

the book "From Vines to Wines" by Jeff Cox. You can probably get a used one very cheap. Even new it is not expensive. It is about 220 pages not counting the index.
It is written in VERY easy to understand language and has one of the best sections of pruning grapes that I have found anywhere.
Half the book is on growing grapes and the other half is a very good primer on making wine from the grapes. HTH
I worked at at commercial vineyard after I retired and now have a backyard vineyard of 110 vines. Paul
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