Pruning is the essential intervention performed to favor the correct development of the vineyard since its first years. In fact, it is precisely during this period that its definitive structure is decided, so that it can gradually move towards its fruiting time.
But what are the main pruning interventions in the first year and what are their goals? Let’s find out in detail how you can effectively manage your young vineyards, using the right techniques and the most suitable tools to guarantee an excellent result.
The objectives of vineyard pruning in the first year
The first pruning operations in your vineyard are essential, as they allow you to lay the foundations for an excellent fructification and for the health of your plants. What are the main purposes of these first pruning operations?
- Definitively shaping the plants in the desired form.
- Creating a balance between vegetative activity and future fructification.
- Immediately promoting the health and longevity of the vineyard.
- Promoting the quantity and quality of the grapes that will be produced, providing nourishment and light to the branches and bunches.
- Keeping the branches well-ventilated and lighted, minimizing diseases and proliferation of pathogens.
Basically, vineyard pruning in the first year focuses on defining the structure of the plants and tries to positively influence its entry into production, but also lays the foundations for what will be the purposes of the subsequent pruning sessions.
The first years of the the grapevine development
To identify the best period for planting out a vineyard, it is good to carefully consider the climatic conditions in which you will be operating and the type of vine. Generally, the best moment are the autumn months, when the soil is sufficiently dry and there is no risk of frosts, which would undermine the growth of the plant.
If the climate is mild, one can think of postponing the new system to the beginning of winter, also counting on the seasonal rains for the correct irrigation. However, today, thanks to the most sophisticated watering systems, planting often takes place later, even in early spring.
In any case, during its first year the vine is left to grow in a free way, to allow it to develop solid roots and accumulate abundant sap inside its branches. When these reach about half a meter in length, the only intervention is their tying to the appropriate supports. This operation supports them and prevents them from accidentally breaking, while the vineyard is kept tidy and accessible from its first months.
A vineyard is usually defined as “young” in its first 2 or 3 years of life, but sometimes it is considered as such up to 5 or 6 years, as various factors come into play in the physiological development of the plant, such as the climatic zone or the characteristics of the soil. For example, in areas with limited water availability, the growth and beginning of fructification of the vine can be greatly slowed down.
Pruning the vine in the first year: how to carry it out?
The first vineyard pruning operations should aim at eliminating the branches, except for a single spur of 2 or 3 gems at most. It is essential to choose the most robust one, which must be oriented upwards and resistant enough to guarantee the good fructification of the plant.
If the plant stock has already reached at least a centimeter in diameter, it is possible to leave more than 3 buds, to immediately start setting up the future chosen breeding system. The following phase should be that of tying, to fix the spur to a support, to prevent it from breaking or being damaged by the atmospheric conditions.
Tying should be carried out with delicate or bio-photodegradable threads, made of materials that respect the plant and the environment, and should never be too tight, so as not to suffocate the wood or limit the development of the vine.
Starting from the seasons following the first vine pruning cycle, the plants should enter their physiological production cycle in the summer months. Dry pruning takes place in the winter period.
The first winter pruning
Once the first year of development has passed, cyclical winter pruning interventions can be set up, performed during the vegetative rest. Why is it important to wait for this time of the year? Because the moment when the leaves fall from the branches indicates that the sap contained in them has moved towards the inner part of the vine stock, which enters the resting phase of the cold season.
Waiting for this period allows pruning to be carried out without risking any damage to the plant, an indispensable precaution especially if you are dealing with particularly young vines, with poor resistance and an underdeveloped root system.
Which shears can you choose for pruning your vineyards?
An essential step to take before proceeding with the pruning operations of the vine during the first year of development is to equip yourself with valid and professional shears, which can carry out precise cuts, without leaving dangerous burrs that can undermine the health of the plant.
Due to the important influence of the operation on the yield of the vineyard, the expert technicians of Campagnola have always been committed to designing shears, chain pruners and tying tools that are performing and comfortable for the operators, in order to help them carry out cutting and binding operations.
Our product lines are divided into two macro-categories: the PROFESSIONAL Line and the GREEN Line. Within both lines there are pruning shears characterized by excellent performance, which can accompany you in your operations on young vines.
Our pneumatic shears for pruning vines in the first year
Often the choice of the professional operators is that of pneumatic pruning shears, powered by the compressed air supplied by engine-driven or PTO compressors.
These tools allow you to carry out intensive pruning operations in an excellent and rapid way, relying both on the cutting capacity of the shears and on their handiness: the ergonomic handles, the low and well-distributed weight, as well as the absence of vibrations characterize, in fact, all Campagnola professional tools.
Our electric tool range for pruning
However, if your need is to prune a small-sized vineyard or carry out interventions with maximum practicality, you can count on the support of the GREEN Line electric pruning shears, powered by lithium-ion plug-in batteries.
These power sources guarantee an excellent working autonomy, which is added to the advantages of the tools: their compactness and low weight combine with the absence of cables and good cutting power, to ensure precise interventions and maximum freedom of movement.
Campagnola is always committed to optimizing the performance of its entire range of products, dedicating intense and constant research and development to each of its lines.
Thanks to our solutions, it is easier to take care of your young vineyards and ensure them a perfect structure and an abundant productivity.