Pruning old roses and old grapes - help!

Hi,
I just joined this forum as there seem to be a lot of smart gardeners posting here and I desperately need some advice.
I have taken over a very big garden that was once well planted then completely left for several years. I'm currently trying to resurrect any of the plants that I can, and need advice on pruning, as I feel a good pruning this time of year will leave me with a much better chance of helping these guys. However, there are several roses, and two grape vines that I am wary of pruning.
What I need to know is, how hard should I go with the basic old roses, back to just 4 to 5 canes? One of the roses has stunning white flowers, but it is very spindly and prone to disease, do I give up, or can I prune health into it? Another is a climber with two strong canes coming from the ground, and I am not sure how to approach cutting back the spindly/strong canes coming from the main stems. Or maybe I should take it back to the ground? It seems pretty well established.
The old grape vine is really straggly and it's hard to tell what's alive and what's not. I unburied it last year from brambles and strung it up on a trellis made of tree prunings and it fruited, so it's obviously got some go in it. Again, I am really unsure as to how hard to prune the vine, and how to know where to cut. Would I be better off waiting until spring when I can see shoots to guide me?
I'd really appreciate some help with my mammoth project! I have about a million other questions, but these will do for now.
x
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tazmainiandevil


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For the rose that isn't a climber, you first need to know if it is say a hybrid tea of a heritage/old fashioned rose. If it's a hybrid tea you can effectively chop it hard right back to its shins but if its and old fashioned about a third off with some judicious canes to the ground in the first year.
Climbers are pruned after flowering but for the weak spindly stuff you won't do much harm by chopping them now. In fact whatever you do with the roses you should have few problems as roses tend to be as tough as old boots.

No, prune it now, but read up on it first. If you can have a good look at it and see how it was trained in the early stages of its life then that will be a help to you but if you can see no evidence of training then you can make up your own mind as there are several ways of training. Vines too are tough.
Where abouts in the world are you? You name makes me think perhaps Oz, but the use of gardenbanter makes me think of the UK.
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Regarding the grapevine, see: http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/1000/1428.html
You should prune now while the vine is dormant. The buds are plainly visible as bumps along the cane. Try to leave 24 buds from last year's wood to produce fruit. Best if they are on top of the cane instead of underneath. You may screw up, but it isn't anything that can't be fixed later.
also see: <http://video.google.com/videosearch?client=safari&rls=en&q=pruning+grape vines&oe=UTF-8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=IZKIS5S-HJHCsQPo0bmGAw&sa=X&oi=video_resu lt_group&ct=title&resnum=4&ved BwQqwQwAw#client=safari&rls=en&oe=UTF-8& um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=IZKIS5S-HJHCsQPo0bmGAw&sa=X&oi=video_result_group&ct=tit le&resnum=4&ved BwQqwQwAw&q=pruning+grape+vines>
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On Fri, 26 Feb 2010 19:36:42 -0500, tazmainiandevil

Not enough information. But here's the basics for roses. Wait to prune until you see little red "buds" on the stems (that already happened here in TN). Remove all the dead canes. Remove any canes thinner than a pencil. Next, remove canes that are crowded, out of place, or anaything to improve the balance and air-circulation of the plant. Early spring is the best time to prune, unbury the crown if needed and apply a half inch layer rotted cow manure and fish emulsion. Be careful with climbers, they can leaf out a large canopy shading the underneath and holding excessive moisture leading to black spot.
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grapes... now is the time. I use the "curtain" system because it is the easiest. http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/html/ec/ec1305/#prun
also, for pruning in general take a look at youtube. they often have commercial type shorts that show what to do. I need visuals, words just dont do it. Ingrid ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Somewhere between zone 5 and 6 tucked along the shore of Lake Michigan on the council grounds of the Fox, Mascouten, Potawatomi, and Winnebago
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