I planted a vine a year ago and it's doing fine and growing well.

I am training it to go over the fence to reach the pergola on the other side.

How should I prune it for next year's growth and when?

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  • 1
    I don't know about pruning, but if you want better grapes you should plant more vines to cover a pergola because every plant has its limits when it comes down to a good harvest.
    – Alina
    Sep 12 '17 at 13:13
  • Where do you live? Or better: What are the lower temperatures? when you will have the last frost in winter/spring? Sep 19 '17 at 14:18
  • UK Gloucestershire. It can be frosty in the winter, maybe -5C. Vine will be mulched and protected through the winter. I am not after grapes, I am after covering the pergola but I am sure I will manage both
    – user33232
    Sep 19 '17 at 16:41
  • 1
    UK, so you can prune when the leave are fallen, possibly some weeks later, in order to let the amid of branches to reach roots. By strong winter (e.g. in more continental climate) better to wait the end of winter. Sep 19 '17 at 18:49

Yes, you should prune the vine.

In early spring, before the buds start to growth is a good moment to prune. The shot should be woody.

I would prune at 80% of the fence, and probably kill the lower buds, so that you will have 4 or 5 branches on the top. They will growth faster.and form your pergola, but I think they will not produce (many) grapes. You should wait an other year.

Remember to good fertilize the vine, on first years: you need it to expand a lot and get the form. Then you can reduced it, for more grapes (and to reduce the pruning).

  • Got you. Makes sense. Needed a second opinion. Thanks
    – user33232
    Sep 19 '17 at 16:43

Assuming you just want a single stem to grow over the fence to reach the pergola. This winter, after leaf fall, cut that short cane at the base back to the main stem. Do the same for any other shoots on the main stem. Next year, allow a single strong shoot to grow from the top of the stem and train this to the pergola as desired. Stop all other growth along the stem at about four leaves. Remember that grapes will form on the current years growth, so you'll need a permanent woody framework tied on to the pergola. Each winter remove the fruited canes back to the permanent framework.

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