Cane maturity and Cane pruning in grapevines

Cane maturity and Cane pruning in grapes
Cane maturity and Cane pruning in grapes

This blog carries detailed information about the cane maturity stage in grapes. It will help you understand the correct methods for cane pruning in grapevines.

It’s almost time for cane pruning season. Pruning is regarded as a crucial step in the production of grapes. Cane pruning is generally done later in the dormant season and before bud break. You might be wondering what these terms are. Grape growth is dependent on three stages: vegetative, bud differentiation, and cane maturity. This blog will discuss the cane maturity stage and the proper cane pruning technique for vine growers.

What are grapevine canes?

Shoots that are roughly a year old are considered to be grapevine canes. The fragile shoot has lost all or most of its leaves by this point and has acquired a noticeable bark layer. Canes turn into “older wood” when their initially tight, brownish bark deteriorates into a distinctly brown bark that attaches irregularly to the wood and readily rips apart due to the development of a cork layer beneath it. Compared to older wood, it is also much simpler to identify the cane’s pith.

Grape cane
Grapevine cane

Cane maturity stage

Cane maturity is indicated by the colour changing from green to brown. After back pruning, the shoot matures after 60 days, depending on the weather. The cane matures earlier if the temperature is high during that time. Still, a delay in cane maturity is mainly caused by the application of additional irrigation and nitrogenous fertilisers, which creates an environment suitable for vegetative development and not cane development. It’s critical to apply potassium at this point since it assists in stabilising the differentiated bud, speeds up cane development, and maintains the vine’s health.

Cane pruning

Cane pruning
Cane pruning

Grapes bear fruit on new season shoots that sprout from one-year-old canes. These canes will stop producing once they have produced all their fruit for the season. Grapes must be pruned to regenerate the young bats that will yield the following year to maintain their productivity.

  • The first step in pruning is determining the canes that will bear fruit the following year.
  • Desirable fruiting canes grow in environments with adequate sunshine exposure, which depends on the
    • Training system,
    • The level of pruning from the previous season,
    • And the canopy management techniques.
  • A healthy amount of sunshine encourages wood development and bud fertility.
  • Choose fruiting canes and renewal spur near the trunk head to keep the arms from growing too long and causing a nonproductive gap in the canopy above the head.
Grape Cane
Grape Cane

Desirable fruiting canes have the following qualities:

  1. Strong wood with brown periderm almost to the tip.
  2. An adequate number of fruitful, healthy buds.
  3. No mechanical damage or apparent disease infections.
  4. Round in cross-section, with a moderate diameter (1/4 to 12 inches) and short internodes (3 to 4 inches).
  5. Excellent placement (i.e., arising close to the trunk).

Essential terms for cane pruning in grapes

  • Renewable spur: The cane on the long arm of a grapevine pruned to one or two nodes becomes the fruiting cane the following year.
  • Water sprout: A shoot that emerges from old wood’s adventitious buds, not from any other shoots or canes.

How can farmers prune their vineyards?

cane pruning
Cane pruning
  • Choose one or two good fruiting canes depending on the training technique and vine spacing. Then choose a different good, well-placed cane as a renewal spur and prune back to one or two buds.
  • Periodically, you might want to save a water sprout closer to the trunk than the present renewal spur (during shoot thinning). The water sprout cane will develop into the renewal spur following dormant pruning.
  • This method prevents arms from growing too lengthy. Leave a cane and a renewal spur on each trunk of the vineyard if it has two trunks.
  • Sometimes a new suitable basal cane from the previous season can be chosen to serve as the new fruiting cane in the next dormant season. Remove all extraneous canes, including suckers, water sprouts, and the remaining fruiting wood from the previous season. Cut the suckers entirely back to the root to get rid of all the basal buds.
  • The fruiting canes should be pruned to the point where the desired number of latent buds are preserved, and then the pruning cut should be made into the next node (bud) beyond the retained buds such that the expanded area of the node prevents the tie from coming undone.
  • The cane should then be free of all tendrils and laterals, bent up onto the fruiting wire, wound once, and tied at the end.

All prunings should be taken out of the vineyard and disposed of elsewhere to prevent any possibilities of disease and pest spread.

Challenges faced by farmers

  • Farmers confront a severe difficulty due to delayed cane maturity, which disturbs the fruit setting stage of grapes, resulting in fruit drop.
  • Weather factors like unexpected rain disrupt the growth stages of the grapes.
  • Farmers are unaware of the proper time and method for applying fertiliser sprays due to a lack of understanding, which results in poor yields.

Fasal technology helps viticulturists overcome these challenges.

  • Fasal is IoT based platform for horticulture farmers. Each Fasal sensing hub is equipped with sensors that measure soil characteristics as well as macro- and micro-climates. The sensors track changes in the grapes’ growth stages and upload the data to the cloud platform of Fasal.
  • With the use of this technology, farmers can receive updates on the stages of grape growth and guard against delayed cane maturity.
  • With the help of the Fasal system, viticulturists can keep an eye on their farm from anywhere and take preventative action to boost yields.
  • The Fasal System also gives early warning of pest and disease outbreaks, reducing the likelihood of disease and pest outbreaks during the fruit-setting stages.

Fasal technology always works for the advancement of farmers. With the Fasal AI-based system, viticulturists can rest easily knowing that grapes will produce better yields this time.

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