Skip to content

Pruning vines in the summer: why it is beneficial and how even beginners do it right.

Meanwhile, not infrequently vine decorates pergolas, trellises, canopies and other elements in the garden. No wonder, because it not only grows quickly and densely to provide shade and privacy, but also produces delicious fruit. A valuable bonus you get with the vine for garden planting. But in order for the vines to actually grow well and develop lots of grapes, proper care is important. One point that you should not neglect is the pruning of the plant. Beginners are probably wondering how often and at what time to prune the vines? Today we explain when and how to cut your vines in the summer.

Why do vines need summer pruning?

A rich harvest with the right pruning in midsummer

Beginners in plant pruning already know that usually in the spring and / or fall / winter give the plants a pruning – be it a maintenance pruning or but a topiary. But when they hear about summer pruning, they may wonder. This is also sometimes necessary: we recall, for example, the stubbing out of tomatoes , to improve the harvest. You can achieve the same effect if you cut your vines in the summer.

Pruning grapevines in summer - Remove up to 30 percent from many grapes

Note: for vines, the main pruning is done in winter, while in spring the tips are trimmed. In the summer, again, if necessary, thinning out, thinning out the fruiting canopy.

Pruning vines in summer - cutting off weak and stunted grapes

The purpose, then, is to get the plant to put less effort into forming new shoots, so that it focuses instead on making grapes. Not only that, but if you thin the plants out a bit, more sunlight can also reach the fruit, which has a positive effect on your taste. But how do you go about it properly so you don’t cut off too much or even the wrong thing? We explain summer vine pruning for beginners once in the following a little more detail:

When to cut vines in summer?

And when to cut grapevines in summer? Vines have their flowering period relatively late compared to other fruit-bearing plants in the garden, namely only in June. After that, exactly in midsummer, is then the right time for summer pruning, when you cut back certain shoots from the vine.

First of all, let’s say that you do not need to prune your vines in the 1st year. Even up to the third year you can leave any pruning, because in this initial phase it is important that a strong main plant is formed and for this the many and lush green is of great advantage. At some point, however, the moment comes when this begins to interfere, and not only purely visually and in terms of handling the plant. It also interferes, as already mentioned, the plant itself in the formation of fruit.

Once you have done the first main pruning and spring pruning, it also automatically comes to the formation of side shoots and stingy shoots, and this in turn leads us to the inevitable summer pruning. How is it done?

What remains, what can go?

Correct pruning of vine shoots

Pruning vines in summer - tips on how to do it right


The stingy shoots are formed at the leaf axils, that is, where the leaf grows out of the shoot. But now, when you prune your vine, you do not have to locate and remove all the stingy shoots. They only become disturbing and superfluous when they become too long or develop the same vigor as the main shoots, thus robbing them of important nutrients. Then you can prune out the vines.

Pruning grapevines in summer - removing long shoots and stingy shoots

In general, for all other shoots: Leave 6 to a maximum of 8 leaves behind the last bunches when pruning. Everything else may be cut off. Then take a closer look at the green mass from a distance and check the plant for shoots that grow too densely and interfere with each other or are poorly developed. You may trim these as well to guarantee more light for the others.

Summer pruning ensures more aromatic fruit


As you prune your vines, also take a look at the grapes that have begun to develop. As hard as it may be for you, you will have to remove some here as well. Superfluous are the more weakly developed ones, as these too will only unnecessarily rob the others of strength. Also, if your vine has produced a particularly large number of grapes, it is worth saying goodbye to some in order to improve the quality of the others instead. Up to 30 percent of all the grapes on a plant can be cut off without worrying about the rest of the crop.

Summer pruning also includes thinning out the foliage

Cut the leaves of vines in the summer

Thinning by removing some of the leaves is an optional maintenance step, but it can be quite beneficial to your vines. The purpose of this step is to give the grapes more light and air. More light gives the grapes better color (in the case of blue grapes) and stronger flavors with a bit more sweetness, and the better aeration in turn prevents fungal diseases by allowing the leaves to dry faster after it rains. What to keep in mind.

  • Remove only leaves in the area of the grapes.
  • The right time for white varieties is when the grapes turn greenish-yellow and transparent, for dark varieties as soon as they turn from red/purple to blue.
  • Do not under any circumstances over light, because then the fruit can suffer sunburn (the fruit juice begins to boil and they spoil ). So always leave some shade for the grapes. This is especially true for vines that grow on a south-facing slope or are late-ripening varieties.
  • To avoid accidental overly radical thinning, do this two or three times in two weeks. This will also allow the grapes to better acclimate to the changed environment and not be suddenly exposed to a large amount of sunlight.

Shortening the shoots guarantees more nutrients for the rest of the vine