Need Help with grape vines

Hi,
I planted two grape vines last year, then got too busy to stake them and well they looked so dead when they arrived from Burpees I was not sure they would grow. I have not pruned them yet either. Should I prune them way back or leave them long. I will get the stakes and wire in place soon, but I think I should prune them now.
Any good websites for grapes? I have seen some but most are on a commercial level, I just have two vines hoping to get a few grapes.
Cheers, Jim
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UBC Botanical Gardens has a good forum on grapes. http://www.ubcbotanicalgarden.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=148 Dora
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Beware of what you wish for http://books.google.com/books?id=tuRCAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA198&lpg=PA198&dq rpi nteria+Grapevine&source=bl&otsEVr9H9Jb&sig=uC-SRmzp0Sc_70yxVKT6GpZJlVU &hl=en&ei=FSrRSZ3gDqP0tAO7n-ygAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=2&ct=result#P PA198-IA1,M1
If you Google, "pruning grapevines", they have everything from universities to videos.
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- Billy
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On 3/30/2009 7:12 AM, Jim wrote:

If they were planted last year, then the only pruning they need is to remove side shoots in order to create a central trunk. Keep one main shoot until it reaches the top of whatever supporting system you will use. Let it get a bit taller than the support and then head it back so that it develops side shoots along the top of the support.
A mature grape vine loaded with fruit is very heavy. I use 3-inch steel-pipe fence posts instead of stakes. I run wire rope between them. See my <http://www.rossde.com/garden/garden_grapes.html for details, including a rough sketch.
Next year will be when you start serious pruning. I've seen several good books on pruning trees, shrubs, and vines that had excellent instructions for pruning grape vines. A good nursery or a well-stocked public library should have 2-3 such books.
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David E. Ross
<http://www.rossde.com/ .
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"David E. Ross" wrote

I like your set up. How old are your vines? Grape vines grow rapidly. I planted two concord grape vines at my last house. They were very small, looked like spaghetti sized twigs when I purchased them at a local nursery. By the second year they reached the top of the arbor I built. By the third year they spanned the the entire distance and were loaded with grapes, in fact too many grapes, I had to find people to take them (not everyone likes eating concords). Pruning is very important, once very heavily in the fall, practically right down to the trunks, and again in the spring after flowering, remove all growth past the flowers (the rule is to remove 1/3 of the vine by weight, gotta kinda estimate, comes easier with experience). For an arbor I used 3 fence postes with narrow wood strips for supports... ended up working out very well as my main reason for the grapes was as privacy screen... when in full leaf it was not possible to see through. Jim, build your support now, grape vines grow much faster then you may think.
A few pictures I dug up showing the support and how severly pruned... this is spring when just beginning to bud:
http://i44.tinypic.com/2hedfgx.jpg
http://i40.tinypic.com/2v9c185.jpg
http://i39.tinypic.com/2dj9z5u.jpg
Concords still green:
http://i41.tinypic.com/2rf8nkx.jpg
Grapes require dedication, if you're not going to be religious about care don't bother... I moved six years ago so I've no idea whether those grapes are still there.
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On 3/31/2009 4:32 AM, brooklyn1 wrote [in part]:

When I first wrote my Web page on grapes in 2000, the vines were about 7 years old. I was getting very abundant crops of 'Perlette' and almost as large a crop of 'Black Monukka'.
In the summer of 2004, a raccoon discovered my garden. I got one bunch of under-ripe 'Black Monukka' and about 6 bunches (less than half the crop) of ripe 'Perlette'. The raccoon got the rest, neatly picking off the individual grapes and leaving all the stems (even the tiny little stems for each grape).
The grapes were planted on a slope in my back yard. In a heavy rain storm in January 2005, the slope failed. Repairs were not done until the end of 2007, when new grapes were planted: 'Perlette' and 'Black Monukka' plus 'Flame'. The 'Perlette' and 'Flame' are now about a foot high; the 'Black Monukka' has not yet sprouted and might have to be replaced. I don't expect to see any grapes until the summer of 2011. Then, I will have a raccoon trap baited and waiting.
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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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but then I realized that there are deer and plenty of other critters. Deer I could fence out but raccoons can pretty much go over any fence at will, and worse are the murders of crows... I can net my blueberries but I doubt grapes would tolerate netting without entanglement. So I decided I'll be getting my grapes from a bottle. Right now I'm waiting to see if the two apple trees and two plum trees I planted last year will blossom.. I know they made it through the winter as their buds are swelling but still none opening, probably a couple three more weeks.
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The training will depend in part on whether the grapes will be used as food or to make wine. Different vines vary in there brittleness as well. Head pruning, while old fashion (creates shady pockets in the foliage where mold can establish itself) doesn't require support. Cane pruning and cordon pruning do require a 2 or 3 wire support. Then there is the arbor, which I saw used for wine production in northern Italy. You can put a table and chairs under it and use it as a shaded area for outdoor entertaining during the summer.
The fruit comes from last year's buds. The more buds, the longer the time it takes the vine to ripen the fruit. Typically, in California, a vine will be left with 24 buds for wine production but as you come to know your vines, you may wish to leave more buds and have grapes that are a little less sweet, or fewer buds and have the grapes ripen earlier.
As David said, the first three years of a vines life are usually given to vine growth and any clusters that form should be picked off as they will retard growth. Also remove any side branches or suckers that try to form. The emphasis now should be on developing the central stalk. In wine making, the first four years are given to vine growth with the first crop being picked the fifth year. The vines then produce at a peak rate for about another thirty-five years. After the age of forty, production will slowly drop but the fruit is still fine and is highly appreciated by consumers in the making of wine.
Check with the nearest college's or university's Ag Dept. to determine the best type of training for your vines.
Have fun.
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- Billy
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