Our grapevines have gotten out of control over the years and now produce very little fruit.
Last week, I went to the internet and my Organic Gardening Encyclopedia for education on how to prune grapevines. The internet suggested that dormant pruning be completed starting in late February through March, so my timing was correct. It said at least 85 to 90 percent of one year old wood should be removed because grapes develop on the growth of the current year.
There are different ways of pruning based on whether the vines are American, French-American, or Vinifera (meaning native to the Mediterranean region, Europe, Morocco, Asia, Portugal, Germany, or Iran) . Yikes! I had no idea I would need to know my grapevine’s nationality.
The Encyclopedia recommended that you leave one or two buds near the base of the arm. This was confusing to me because I don’t know about you, but all my life I have been totally unaware that grapevines had “arms”.
I was grateful to learn that the soil doesn’t have to be especially rich, that in fact, an average soil is best, because soil that is too rich causes the vines to grow instead of producing grapes.
My grapevines were a twisted mess with tangled “arms”. I went to work on them, hacking away at the jungle and watching for buds, to make sure I was leaving something that would grow grapes.
Even as I worked I was unsure if I was doing the job right. When I don’t understand something in life, I turn to the Bible for answers. John chapter 15 gave me some insight into vines and pruning.
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit…. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15: 1-5 NKJV)
I got it! I can understand grapevine pruning if I relate it to myself…. so….
To have more fruit, I must prune the grapevines as God prunes me.
I cannot bear fruit unless I stay attached to God (My Vine). I need to leave the main grapevine intact.
When I am a tangled mess, I need much more pruning. If I prune the grapevines more consistently there is less mess.
My soil needs to be average (not to many riches or easy life) or I won’t bear fruit. By not making the soil too rich I will increase my grape production.
But the final take away was…. without God I can do nothing. Whether it is pruning grapevines, getting my yard and gardens in shape, or just living, I have to depend totally on God as my Vine and source of life.