Saturday, January 01, 2011

New Year's Day Pruning

Today I pruned the grape vines (overhead arbor), and most of the fig trees.


Grapes - last year I had more grapes than I could use. A lot went to waste. Plus, the vines were a bit overgrown, and many grapes were undersize. I pruned more heavily, leaving fewer buds. That will reduce # of grapes a little, but I hope means less maintenence requirement and therefore better quality grapes that I enjoy more. Less waste.

There are still 2 more grape vines to prune. Maybe tomorrow or next week. But the New Year's tradition of pruning grapes was kept. Cold day pruning means no bleeding. Waiting for warmer weather means the vines bleed a lot.

Figs = Not much pruning. Removed dead figs that never ripened. Cut taller branches from the centers of the trees, to maintain a "bowl" shape and shorten the trees. Removed badly placed brances. Cut suckers from the bases. Even though I stated "not much pruning", I filled a wheel barrow with the prunings. I haven't pruned Desert King yet - as a 100% breba (early summer crop) variety, I'll just remove the biggest branches, to maintain small size without losing brebas. Brebas form on growth from previous summer, so most pruning should be after the brebas are harvested. Thought about leaving suckers in place, for a bush shape. However, I wrap the tree trunks with a strip of plastic and apply Tanglefoot, to keep ants out of the figs. It works, but takes time and effort. A 3-trunk fig bush means 3-trunks to wrap, so more work. Plus, more difficult to weed around the tree. So I'll keep them as compact small trees instead.

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