196 Growth of Grapevines With and Without Grow Tubes

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  • 1 Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, 1165 HORT, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1165

Grapevines (cv. Steuben) were field-grown for 1 year to determine the effects of pruning and grow tube use on vine growth. Plots were grown on Crosby-Miami silt loam soils, trickle irrigated as needed to ensure adequate moisture, and provided a 3-ft band of weed control on each side of the row. Vines were trained onto a 5-ft. tall-trellis using the following techniques: 1) pruned to a single shoot and placed in a grow tube supported by a bamboo stake, 2) pruned to a single shoot and trained on a bamboo stake without a grow tube, or 3) left unpruned and trained on four strings radiating out from the vine to the top wire. At the end of the growing season, the vines were destructively sampled for leaf area, total shoot growth, average internode length, shoot diameter, top growth dry weight, and root system dry weight. The results indicate that pruning vines to a single shoot significantly reduced overall vine growth, whether a tube was used or not. Vines trained to single shoots and grown with or without grow tubes did not differ significantly for the various parameters measured. Unpruned vines produced nearly three times more leaf area, more than two times more total shoot length, and more than two times more top dry weight and root dry weight than the other treatments. A sub-set of these vines will be grown for one more season to determine if the negative effects of pruning and/or tubes will effect vine size after a second season.

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