Springtime means pruning and our grapevines were more than overdue for their annual haircut. We love the Glenora and Himrod grapes growing on old bed frames on either ends of our raised beds. But each year they grow so long that they get tangled into the nearby trees and shrubs.

Pruning them back keeps their growth under control and also gives me the chance to propagate new grapevines. The supplies are simple – just grab some sharp pruning shears, water and some rooting hormone. Rooting hormone can be purchased from your local garden shop and one small jar will last forever.

After pruning off the excess vines, examine the cuttings for the best candidates for propagation. I looked for vigorous vines that were thick, rich in color and had good buds on them. I cut the best ones into about two feet increments.

Next, I dipped the ends into water and then dusted them with rooting hormone. I picked spots around the garden against the fence where I would like to eventually trellis the vines, then essentially shoved the vine cuttings in the ground and hoped for the best.

It’s been about a month and my efforts have paid off! The grape vines are leafing out!

The secret to propagating grapevines is to baby them as they begin to root. Water the new vines every other day when it has been dry outside. For added insurance, take some willow cuttings and soak them in a bucket of water overnight to extract some of their powerful rooting hormone. Pour the “willow water” onto the newly propagated plants periodically to encourage rooting.

It sounds almost too easy, but it works. The temperatures are warming, so best to get out in the garden to try propagating plants now before it’s too hot. Just keep a close eye on them and you should be able to make some plant babies this season!

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Written by Renee Wilkinson