The weather finally warmed up. Since it’s the first of March, I think the threat of frost at this point is low, so I went ahead and pruned down to 2-bud spurs. I averaged a bit over 2lbs of pruning per vine when I took off the long canes (Part 1). According to the 20 + 20 philosophy, I would leave 20 buds for the first pound, and 20 buds for each additinal pound. So, 2lbs would equate to 40 buds. Using 2-bud spurs, that would be 20 spurs, or 10 per side. The 5-6″ spur spacing on my vines only allows about 6-7 spurs per side, but I decided to prune to 2-bud spurs anyway. I’ve been retaining additional spur positions when they are provided so that I can up the bud count and control vigor without increasing the cane density like I would have if I were to go to 3-bud spurs.
As the photo’s show, I had plenty of growth last year, and lots of canes to choose from this year. The first two photo’s show a before/after sequence. I chose to keep the lower cane at each node as a spur because I want to prevent the height of the spurs from creeping upwards over time. This keeps my fruit in the proper postion relative to the catch wires and makes harvest, leaf-pulling and canopy management much easier the rest of the year.