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On Pruning [Growth
Posted on July 31, 2015 @ 10:53:00 AM by Paul Meagher

In my last blog, I introduced you to D'Arcy Thompson's book "On Growth and Form".

Subconsciously, the reason I may have started reading and thinking about this book is that I am currently engaged in pruning some 3 yr old grape vines. The objective of this type of work is to manage vine growth and form in order to manage and harvest the vines effectively.

Pruning involves picking the best cane to become the main trunk and cutting all the rest of the bottom growth away. The pruning of these 3 year olds is not about fruit production this year, but about trying to get the vine to grow properly in preparation for fruit production next year.

Picking the best cane and figuring out everything that needs to be cut away and tied up feels like more of an art than a science. Each vine is an individual and has to be tackled uniquely.

So I just want to reiterate the dual concepts of growth and form which seem so abstract have relevance to determining the micro details of our actions. In managing horticultural plants that require alot of training, the concept of pruning becomes necessary as growth can be too uncontrolled and chaotic if left to its own devices. Prune back to create the main cane of your business. From that main cane you only want two main shoots, and a third for insurance that can be cut away the next year if not needed.

My brother is helping me and is weeding, pruning and tieing some vines in this photo.

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