Author: Abraham Kiyoski
There are those who have tried out the Labruscan varieties from Ontario. These cannot be grown under Guyot pruning methods but must be cultivated by a simpler system such as one main rod plus six strong side growths, which are pruned back hard each January.
They could also be grown on the \'Grow as you like\' system, being allowed to scramble over a trellis or cover a fence or wall. Under this system very little pruning is necessary, though it does pay to cut back the fruiting laterals in the summer at two leaves above a bunch.
The leaves of the vines grown against walls are often attacked by Red Spiders, and the answer here is to syringe the under surface of the foliage in the evening, twice a week, from the beginning of June onwards. In cases of bad attack some liquid derris should be added to the water.
Do not, however, allow 12 rods to be produced or you may not be able to ripen the fruit. Stick to 6 or 7 rods tied to strong bamboos or stakes to form a goblet and gradually these shoots will bear more bunches of grapes up to, say, 8 per rod. Do not be tempted to reduce the pruning by cutting say to 5 buds, and do not be tempted either to try and make the vine crop more heavily.
Each of these laterals is allowed to bear one bunch of fruit this season. As the cordon is to remain tied horizontally to the lower wire, these laterals are pruned back in January to within one plump bud of their base. This bud, of course, will grow the next spring and once again the lateral will be trained upwards and tied to the top wire. This next year it will probably bear two good bunches and the year after maybe three bunches. From then on the crop will be three or four bunches per lateral.
When growing a vine against a wall the pruning may be similar. The rod instead of being taken along a lower wire can be trained, with a main rod growing upwards and with side permanent rods trained out at right angles. Thus a series of horizontal cordons are formed and the laterals they produce are pruned back hard each January. These are tied to wires stretched tightly in between the main wires.
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