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Cordon Grape Training System

Sharpen those pruners because late winter through early spring is the time to prune and train grapes.

The four-cane kniffen method is probably the most common training system for grapes. You may want to try the cordon system instead. It’s relatively easy to manage and the plants tend to be more productive and the fruit is easier to harvest.

With the cordon system vines are planted about 8 feet apart and supported on single or double wires.  You prune to establish a main trunk and several permanent side branches known as cordons. These permanent cordons are periodically renewed throughout the life of the plant.

Once the framework is established, select 10 to 12 downward or outward growing new fruiting canes, creating a curtain of growth. Remove other new and all older fruiting canes but leave renewal spurs on the cordon canes for next year.

A bit more information:  Reposition vertical shoots to a downward position as needed. Place shoots to prevent them from growing over one another. Known as combing, this allows light to reach all parts of the plant.


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