Winter is a quiet period for our crops, including vines.

However, the PlantCT team is working diligently in the vineyards in this period as well, installing new sensors or checking the stations already installed and gathering experience.

During the field visits, we have already encountered several areas of pruned vines.
At this time of year, the grapes are sleeping, dormant. This is the time when pruning is usually carried out, the aim being to establish a balance between the vegetative growth of the plant and its productivity. The harder you prune, the more you stimulate the growth of green parts of the plant, the more you stimulate the growth of shoots. At the same time, the quantity of the crop is reduced, but its quality is significantly improved.

Pruning is preceded by a bud test and an examination of the maturity of the canes. It is best to start with the later ripening varieties first, leaving the early ripening ones to the end, as in early spring, after the onset of vegetation, a few degrees below zero can damage the grape vines.

The best time to prune is therefore in winter. Care should be taken to ensure that the temperature is not too cold, as very low temperatures during pruning can cause the vines to break and crack, damaging the buds (“blind”) and making them unviable. It is therefore generally advisable to carry out pruning work at average temperatures of between -5 and +10 °C and to complete the work before the start of vegetation.

It is important to note that pruning during the dormant period avoids the tearing of the vines, as the pruning surfaces have time to dry out.

Máté Havasi
plant health specialist
PlantCT Europe Zrt.