Best Wine Grapes To Grow In Oklahoma

Growing Grapes

Hi, I'm Tricia, and organic gardener. Grapes are a beautiful edible landscapeplant, as well as producing delicious fruit. Today I'm going to plant a new grapevine. If you're not ready to plant your grapesas soon as they arrive, that's ok, you can heel them in. You can either dig a shallow trench, put the grape vines in and cover the roots with soil, or you can do like I've done and put the roots in a bucket, cover them with soil and protect themwith a little bit of straw.

Grapes are tolerant of a wide variety of soils, but it is important to check with your Master Gardener or local ag extension to find out what varieties will do best in your climate. Your site selection should be in fullsun with a southern exposure, away from trees. And avoid depressions where cool air can collect. Ideally, preparation for planting yourgrapes will start the year before with a soil test and an appropriate cover crop. Grapes like moderate fertilityand a pH of about 5.5 7. In most climates you can plant grapes in late winter or early spring.

For northern climates you might want towait until a little bit later in the spring. Just dig a hole the same size as theroots and don't add any fertilizer. You don't want to get more leaves than fruit! Soak the roots of your grapevine forabout 2 to 3 hours before planting, and then you can prune off any damaged roots. But it's important to leave as much of the root system as possible. Make sure that the roots are loose andnot clumped together. The hole should be deep enough to plantthe vine to the same level it was planted before,

with a few inches of soilover the longest roots. Gently back fill the soil with thetopsoil first. And if it hasn't rained recently make sure and give your plant some water. You want to train your newly plantedlittle grapevine to grow into a big grapevine with a straight single trunk reaching the trellis. In order to do that we're going to prune this plant so that it has one straightish cane. By the second year you need some kind of a support system. This two wire support system is very common and easy to build.

To train your grapevine to grow straight upto the trellising, you may need to do a temporary supportlike bamboo and then just tie it togetherwith a little twine or some tape. These are flame grapes, so I'll betraining them to a bilateral cordon. That is I want a nice straight trunk. And then I'll choose two buds that will be trained into big, permanent branches on either side of the trunk. It's really important to tag your plants.I use these permanent zinc plant tags

its really important to know what variety you have so that you can prune appropriately. Whether you have a big vineyard or you'vejust planted a few grape vines, grapes will benefit from cover cropping. So get ready for winter pruning,and Grow Organic for Life!.

Gene Clifton Shipping Woes

Andy Barth: Well, Oklahoma has come a longway since the days of prohibition. Even so, the state swings pretty far right on the conservativescale when it comes to alcohol. Earlier, I met up with Gene Clifton, the president ofthe Oklahoma Grape and Wine Commission to talk about the shipping issues surroundingthe state's rapidly growing wine industry. Andy: Well, thank you so much, Gene, for invitingus out to the winery. We really appreciate it.Gene Clifton: You're welcome. Andy: Now, there is a lot of concern and resistanceto Oklahoma winemakers shipping their wine. Is that because distributors are concernedthat large companies like Gallo will come

in and take over the marketéClifton: Yes, that could very well be. But right now the loss is that there's no shippingin Oklahoma from other states. We can't ship instate; we can ship outofstate. There's32 states that we can ship to, and we do on a regular basis.Andy: Now, Oklahoma has done a great job of growing the wine industry. What needs to happento make this even more successfulé Clifton: Well, we need to, we need to gettogether with the distributors to make it and the liquor stores to make it profitablefor all of us to make money. And I think personally that Oklahoma needs to have grocery storesales with only Oklahoma wines. That is my

solution to the problem. Uh, because Arkansashas that law, and it's been contested and through the constitutional because each statemakes its own liquor laws. That would solve the problem with the distributors becausethey would still distribute it to liquor stores. We could sell to liquor stores. We could sellto distributors. And the liquor stores who sell liquor and wine would still be able tostay in business. And I think that the, the liquor stores could stand some changes intheir venue where they could sell other things besides wine, liquor and warm beer. And Ithink that's one of the answers that, that uh, we could put together with the legislaturethat might work for everybody.

Andy: And when it comes to changing the lawit really comes down to a vote of the people. Clifton: Exactly. But I guarantee if thisvote went to the vote of the people we have had several in the last you know,we've been here 15 years, and we've had several bills passed by the people with the minimumof a 68 percent voters. So if it goes to the vote of the people, they'll vote for it.Andy: All right, Gene. Well, thank you so much.Clifton: You bet. Andy: Now, we have more stories about Oklahoma'sbooming wine industry on our website. Just head to okHorizon and look under our valueadded section.

The Grape Molecule Resveratrol Can help people with diabetes

Worried about Type 2 diabetes, or been diagnosedwith adult diabetesé You can help yourself naturally with a betterdiet and exercise. Researchers also think that resveratrol acompound found in grapes could help. Resveratrol isn't a cure … but it canbe a useful part of your ‘get fitter' strategy.

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