In the prairie States, and in other extended areas, a simple renewal system is practised that is only a variation of the system generally practised in the Chautauqua district of New York. The first year the vines remain on the ground. In the fall they are cut back to a stub with two or three buds and mounded. The four-wire trellis is built the second spring and two canes are started from the stub which are trained perpendicularly and pinched when they reach the top wire.
In the fall the strongest laterals are pruned to spurs with two or three eyes and the main cane is cut back to a length of about three feet. The third spring the two canes are both trained, in the same direction, diagonally on the wires.
The after pruning is on the same plan except that the main canes are longer and some of the strongest laterals of some varieties can be pruned to longer spurs.
The gain in training all canes in one direction is that it favors the bending over and covering the bearing wood in winter. On the grounds of the Iowa Agricultural College at Ames, a vineyard of about one acre planted with such varieties as Concord, Worden, Moore's Early, Cottage, Telegraph, and some of the Roger hybrids was managed by the writer in this way for a period of fifteen years. The canes were not wholly covered in winter. The bearing wood was bent over to the ground, some primings placed over the spurs, with enough earth to hold them down. Some earth was also thrown around the crown, leaving the stiff part of the stems exposed to the air. Bending down and covering the bearing wood, with its knife wounds on the spurs, materially lessens winter evaporation and increases the yield and quality of the fruit, even in parts of the West where the exposed tops are not liable to be injured by winter's cold. During a period of eighteen years this vineyard produced heavy and regular crops without renewal of the canes, except in the way of starting new shoots from near the crown and cutting out the old canes when the new ones were old enough for bearing.