A Late Winter Chore: Trimming Grapezilla
Trimmed grape vine in black and white

A Late Winter Chore: Trimming Grapezilla

By CDBeck | AtHome | 10 Feb 2021

Spring is coming!  Buds are swelling, spring bulbs are coming up, the garlic is putting on growth.  But winter’s not through yet and there’s one winter chore that still needs to be done. Pruning the neglected grape vines.

Any pruning needs to be done from the last week of January to the first week of February when the vines are totally  dormant so they won't bleed sap when they're cut.

Cat and grape vines

Mr. Tooey Cat and our out of control grape vines.  Before they built a subdivision behind our house.

My dad planted our vines 30 to 40 years ago and they haven’t really had much in the way of pruning.  Most years time just sneaks up on us. Sometimes winter doesn't get cold enough for the vines to go dormant and I don't like seeing sap running out when I make the cuts. Then there’s the dilemma of deciding which which shoots to leave and which to take. Sometimes I’m just plain scared that I’m going to kill the poor things!

So this year I’ve finally resolved to tame Grapezilla.

Overgrown grape vine in the winter


Another benefit of pruning in the winter is that it’s easier to see what you’re pruning without all those leaves in the way. I cut out all the dead wood first, selected which shoots to keep, and pruned away the rest. I tip pruned the remaining shoots so that they would stay in their own section of the trellis.

Trimmed grape vine

The two muscadines and our lone concord grape were a lot easier to manage.  

Now that I have these vines pruned, I need to refurbish the support lines and trellis these vines properly.


How do you rate this article?




This retired analytical chemist now has the time to pursue anything and follow any topic that interests me. Never stop learning!


A blog about home craft. Well.....certain aspects of living at home: home cooking, food preservation, gardening, budgeting and the like.

Send a $0.01 microtip in crypto to the author, and earn yourself as you read!

20% to author / 80% to me.
We pay the tips from our rewards pool.