How do I tame a rambling grapevine?

We have a grapevine in our backyard that is pretty wild, and rambles all over the place. It's just so tangled that I'm not even sure how to start. What is the best way the salvage it? Is it too late to train it up some sort of trellis?

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3 Answers

  • Ben
    Lv 5
    1 month ago

    The answer is to be brutal. Grapes will grow 10 feet in a season if you let them. Grapes grown commercially are pruned back to a relatively small framework of stems every winter. That's what you need to do.

    This winter (before the new year; never prune a grape between January and June, as they will bleed sap), find the main stem of the grape and cut it back to around 3 feet off the ground, and cut all horizontal branches back to no more than a foot from the main stem. Don't worry, it will be fine. Removing 90% of their growth each year is how you are meant to prune grapes.

    You can then fit some trellising behind it (although two wooden posts with tensioned wires between them would be better) and train new growth onto that.

    Then look up grape pruning methods for how to maintain it year to year (it will need pruning once every winter, and at least once, usually twice every summer). 

  • 1 month ago

    I do not want to sound like a small *** but you have to deal with it just as the old saying about eating an elephant. You eat an elephant one bite at a time.


    To deal with a vine run amok you do the same each day. "Eat" as much as you can at each sitting. 


    When I bought the land for my last house it had a giant Virginia Creeper vine. I would go out each morning for about an hour or so and whack some of it off. In time I got rid of it.

  • 1 month ago

    It’ll go through some shock and hopefully be revived - move it to where you want it and keep an eye on it as it rambles again 

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