Prairie Yard Garden Growing Grapes
(gentle music) Prairie Yard Garden is a production of the University of Minnesota Morris in cooperation with Pioneer Public Television. Closed captioning is provided by Mark and Margaret YackelJuleen in honor of Shalom Hill Farm, a nonprofit rural education retreat center in a beautiful
prairie setting near Windom in southwestern Minnesota. Shalom Hill Farm, shalomhill Did you hear that a new crop is appearing on the prairieé Growing grapes has created an interest among a few individuals who like the challenge of adapting it to our region. Join me on Prairie Yard Garden as we visit a vineyard to learn about the process and challenges
of growing grapes on the prairie. (soft lighthearted music) A new crop has appeared on the prairie: growing grapes And today I have Florian Ledermann with me who's been involved with the process for the last four to five years. Florian welcome to the show and tell me, how did you get interested in growing grapesé ^We got interested actually at the
University of Morris's Horticultural Night. We sat down in a tent and learned that the university just released four new varieties of grapes that are actually coldhardy. And before that, I always kind of figured grapes were the crop that just kind of came up and never really bore and died every winter and died back. So that's what spiked our interest.
And so that very nextspring, we bought five. And they survived and I did a little more research and decided to go with an acre. And a year later, another acre so we ended up with 1,350 vines as a result of that little adventure in Morris. Larry That's interesting. 1,300 vines, how long does it take you
to put all those in the groundé Florian We used family labor. (Florian laughs) So we had, it took us, I think probably when we were planting, it took us about threedays to put one acre in. That would be for the planting. The posts and the trellis system and everything
Weekly Peek Self Water Garden Container Attached to Rain Barrel for our Grapes
We bought some grape plants and needed toget them planted before we took off for a few days. They weren't going to survive theheat in those little pots. Everyone was working diligently on their comicon costumesbut luckily, Garen finished early so he agreed to help me out. One of our favorite ways to grow plants isby using a self water raised garden and we found the perfect spot for it. This is where we're gonna put our self wateringgrapes. We like to do the self water planters becausewell, they work really good off the rain barrels
for one with the float in them but also inthe desert, it's so hot out here in the afternoon. And you never really know what that plantneeds. Self water works good because the plant just takes what it needs when it needs it. Bryson wants climbing plants so grapes seemedlike a good choice. So what are you putting on thaté Gasket Maker Gasket Maker. Okay laughing Garen digs the rain barrel down a little anddigs a ditch to lay the pipe under the railroad
tie. He then connects the pvc pipe from the rainbarrel to the blue self water container. Garen uses a hose to pvc connector. The pipe is installed permanently to the selfwater container. The float is responsible for keeping the waterlevel up. He places an off and on valve so we can turnit off during the winter months. Once he gets it leveled, we add water to thebarrel and let it set for a day to ensure the float is functioning properly.
The next day Garen constructs a platform froma plastic bucket. He cuts hole around the top and cut outs around the bottom for waterflow. The platform is placed in the container. Apiece of fence is used to distribute the weight and the garden cloth keeps the dirt from fallingin. We almost forgot to add the pipe we use fortesting the water level. So Garen makes a quick cut out of the garden cloth and slipsit in. The dirt touches the water and wicks to theplant. It works like any other self water container.
We water them for the first day or two tostart the wicking process. When we get back from Comicon, Bryson installsthe gutter. The grapes did well while we were away. We want to eventually put gutters around Bryson'sentire building but for now, we'll start with the entry. We've used plastic in the past but these metalones seem to be better and they're 5 inch too, so bigger. The same afternoon it rained. We got to tryout the system and it worked like a charm.
I found this on sale for $3 on clearance becauseI was looking online at rain chains and they can be quite expensive. They can be as muchas, just shy of $100. And so, I'm gonna go ahead and use this. We want to have as little intrusion on stuffthat's flowing down that gutter as possible. Four years ago we did a tutorial on our firstlarge self water container. You're welcome to watch it but be warned, it's REALLY corny. We've had those strawberries going for I don'tknow, they've been there for a few years now. It's been very successful. Every year thestrawberries pop back up. And then in the
Caring for Young Grape Vines
My name is David Handley, I'm with the Universityof Maine Cooperative Extension, and we're here to talk about how to prune and traina young grapevine. This is a vine that was planted last spring. We got it from a dormantplant, or rooted cutting, and you can see the original part of the planting right here.This is what we got from the nursery, with a good root system under it. We planted it,and we had a bud break and some vine growth. This is last year's growth right here. Thiswas a green shoot. Typically, you may get more than one shoot developing. You may haveseveral buds on here. We want to prune this back to one strong vine, your strongest one.We're going to arrange for that to be tied
up to a trellis, because this particular vineis what's going to become our permanent trunk, or the permanent part of the plant that'sgoing to be with us for the life of the planting. We want to make sure it's the strongest ofthe vines that we can choose from. Any other one that developed that's very weak, we canjust cut that out, select our best one. The time of year to make these cuts are whenthe canes are dormant, and this is going to be really any time after the new year, untilthey bud out in late March, early April. We hope in the first year that we get enoughgood growth that we can tie it to the lower trellis wire.Typically here in Maine, we're going to be
pruning to either a four arm kniffin trainingsystem, or an umbrella kniffin training system. Those trellises consist of two wires, oneset at about two and a half feet, and a second wire set at about five feet.We hope in the first year that we're going to get enough good growth to reach at leastthe bottom wire, but in order to make sure it's growing straight, you can see we supportedthis with a small bamboo pole. Any kind of planting stake will work, and we just tiethat vine up as it grows, rather than let it grow along the ground where it can getrot problems, and not develop a nice straight growth like we want. We tie it up, just likeyou'd tie up a beef steak tomato, get the
growth that you want.As I said, we've got pretty good buds here, reaching up to the first wire. You can seethat I actually make it to the top wire, but you can see the growth up here is very scrawnyand spindly, and isn't really going to lead to a good, strong trunk. I'd rather actuallystart new growth for reaching to this top wire for next year.What that means is that I'm actually going to cut this off here, rather low, to try toget this bud here to break and give me a much stronger shoot to develop my trunk to thetop wire next year. I can just take that there, and then, instead of using the bamboo polethis year, I can just tie it to the wire.
This bud will hopefully break, and give mea good, strong shoot, that I'm going to reach the second wire next year. Of course, thesebuds lower down will also break, and if this one happens to be weak, I may select one ofthese. But, if this bud does turn out to be a strong shoot, I'll be cutting these offnext winter and getting my single trunk back up to the top wire.Next year, when this does reach the top wire, eventually what we'll be doing is taking oneyear old cane, and either draping it over this top wire and connecting it to the bottomwire in an umbrella kniffin, or we'll be taking one cane at the top wire on each side, andone cane at the bottom wire on each side,
to create four arms of one year old growth,for a four\uc0\u8209 arm kniffin system. Both systems work pretty well for concretetype grapes here in a cold climate like Maine.