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Staked Grapevines

Vines trained on stakes can be planted in any warm and sunny spot in your garden! With several staked vines in rows or groups, you can even create -- without the use of any support frame -- your very own little vineyard.

Vineyard with staked-vines, Meersberg / Baden-Württemberg, around 1920


The grapevine is planted next to a 1.5 - 2 m tall stake and trained according to the instructions for the 1st year. If you are planting several vines, make sure they are planted about 1 m apart. In the 2nd year the vine's growth will be assessed in order to select one of the two training methods described below.

"Circular Cane" Training (Bow Formation)

This formation is for vigorous vines and for those that tend to grow strictly upright (as opposed to filling out like a bush). The training technique is described below.

"Vertico" (Vertical Cordons)

In this method, a main shoot is trained vertically along the stake, or even coiled around it. This training technique is particularly well known in Eastern Europe, in the Saxon Elb Valley, and in the Moselle region. It is suitable for vines with a rather weak to moderate growth vigour; in other words, vines with very flexible shoots. The vine is trained as a vertical cordon ("schnurbaum" in German). Follow the link for diagrams on this training technique.

Staked vines, single or in groups
Vine in your garden
Staked vines in a vineyard
Training grapevine on a single stake/post
Grapevine with circular cane in winter- after pruning, bending, and tying
Circular cane-pruned grapevine
Two "verticos" (vertical cordons) after pruning
Vineyard (Grapevine Garden)
Staked vine with circular cane in summer
Training grapevine in circular canes
Freestanding vine on a stake
Vineyard on a hillside
Several "verticos" in a residential garden with a support wire at the top, after pruning
Vertico (vertical cordon)
Fungus-tolerant vines can be trained as "circular canes" close to the ground and tied horizontally, resulting in a lower canopy.
Arched vine (Circular-cane vine)

"Circular Cane" - Training

1st / 2nd Year

Diagram 01: Growth and budding in the first year (stake not shown here).
Diagram 02: Winter pruning in 1st / 2nd year
Diagram 03: Bud removal in spring of the 2nd year; shoot growth of the 5 remaining buds. These shoots are tied to the stake and, in summer, shortened to 1.0 - 1.5 m.

3rd year

Diagram 04: Pre-Pruning: the 5 shoots were trimmed back in summer and tied to the stake. The 3 upper shoots will be totally removed, including part of the stem; the lower 2 remain, even if they are a little less vigorous.
Diagram 05: Pruning the fruiting canes: the cane further away from the trunk is cane-pruned in order to be bent into a circle (depending on its growth, to about 8 - 12 eyes). This cane should produce fruiting shoots this year. The lower cane is used as a "replacement spur" and pruned accordingly. It will produce two strong shoots for the following year, whereby one is again pruned as fruiting cane and the other one as new replacement spur.
Diagram 06: Basically, the vine training is finished, i.e., a short trunk with one branch at the top, which includes a fruiting cane and a replacement spur.
The fruiting cane is carefully bent, and if required, "massaged" and rolled bit by bit between the fingers, then tied to the stake as a circle. More details about this and training for the following years can be found under cane pruning. In summer, the shoots are tied loosely to the stake and summer pruned.

Unfavourable Bud Distribution

Diagram 07: Pre-Pruning as per diagram 04. The buds on the future replacement spur are not very well distributed: instead of the second bud, it is the third one that faces outward. For this type of pruning form however, it is imperative that the future fruiting cane arises from an outward facing bud; otherwise, the cane will not tolerate being bent into a circle and will break off. In this case, therefore, proceed as follows:
Diagram 08: Pruning of fruit cane as per diagram 05. However, the replacement spur is cut back to 3 eyes, so that there will be a bud on the outside at the end of the spur, i.e., facing away from the stake. The second (centre) eye is superfluous and even troublesome, best removed at the time of the winter pruning; otherwise, one may forget to do so.
Diagram 09: After winter pruning and bud removal

Following Years

Diagram 10: Beginning of 3rd year, after pruning (again as per diagram 06). The entire fruiting cane including all new side shoots will be cut off at the beginning of the 4th year; the replacement spur lignifies further (from ochre to dark brown).
Diagram 11: Beginning of 4th year, after pruning: the diagonal replacement spur from the previous year is now dark brown in the diagram; its uppermost shoot is the new fruiting cane, the lower one the new replacement spur.
Diagram 12: Beginning of 5th year, after pruning: the ties have been loosened and the trunk, gradually growing in girth, has shifted slightly to the right on the stake. A new fruiting cane has been formed from the upright replacement spur of the previous year (diagram 11), and below it, a new replacement spur. This process is repeated from year to year and is explained in detail under cane pruning.