Serving Growing Ohios Grape and Wine Industry
Last January, January 6ththe official day of the polar vortex we experienced really damaging temperatures.Anywhere from around twenty below zero to about sixteen below zerowhere it killed the fruiting buds and it killed actual grape vines.And we've never experienced any damage like this before.And we've never we really didn't know the extentof the damage on the vines until April May in that time frame when we didn't see anybuds developing and even some of thetrunks cracked.
But the impact of that was dramaticwe have no crop at all in our vinifera and we grow varieties like Chardonnay, PinotNoir, Cabernet Franc, Rieslingand without any grapes, we were forced to buya lot of grapes. But it's had a huge impactas far as the grape production not to mention the actual wine losswhich is two or three years spanning. Because in some of the vineyardsthat will have to be replaced from the ground up
with new vines we will not get the first crop is three to four years out.So the impact is just dramatic and millions and millions of dollars.Actually in the viticulture program at Ohio Stateone of our focus of the research is cold hardiness of grapes.So really that's one of my expertise in this fieldof learning more about how grapes cope with freezing with cold in general.After this cold event our growers really needed a lot of help in terms of how to not onlyassess
the damage but also how to deal with the vinesthat are damaged. And we conducted a lot of workshops just toshow them how to prune the vines. Our relationship with Ohio State goes wayback in the 1980'sWe've had a long standing relationship with ongoing research in the wineryand in the vineyards. Currently with Imed Damiour research stems lately from the cold winter vortexwhere we've had a lot of the vines killed and damagedfrom the minus twenty degree temperatures.
Current research is kind of involved tothe extent of the damage to determine the actual damage andto have pruning studies done to see what was the best way to prunethese injured vines. We have not had temperatures that coldsince 1994 here and myself and a lot of the grape growershave not experienced this cold damage. So we need research to help uskind of figure out what's the next step and see what our future is in these vineyards.
The California Garden in April Grape Plant Reveal
april is the month of birds singing early spring harvests and a surprise plant reveal which is growing strong so as usual we will begin with thetour of the garden in this monthly series the April garden looks alive these are the red onion sets that weplanted back in December and they are growing very nicely they should be ready forharvest by around the end of summer and and just next to add the onions bed we sowedthe okra seeds in the beginning of April and as you can see here they've alreadysprouted
I have sowed the okra seedsa lot closer than what I did last year I am gonna see howthat works out moving ahead to our side bed it has all the nice leafy greens kaleand Swiss chard growing very well and then on toward our tomato jungle thismonth the tomato plants have grown extremely well as you can see this isthe stage where the plants have grown a lot of leaves and have now started toflower and produce fruits like you see
here I'm growing several different typesof tomatoes this seasonif you've seen my December tutorial I have listed out all thetomato varieties that have been growing you can see your some more cherrytomatoes being formed so this is the optimum weather for tomatoes to start settingfruit you can see this beans plant this is a pole bean called the hyacinthBean which is an interesting variety of Bean and this is the garlic and onion bed and you can see somebody potatoplants actually growing out of the compost that I added to this bed andthis bed also had a lot of carrots that
we just harvested and I'll show youthat very soon these are some bush bean plants as soonas these are done I will grow some cucumbers there and you can see here these cornseedlings that have emerged from this bed this is a new bed that we justcreated and this bed next to that one is the one where we have all our peppersand eggplants I'm growing 2 varieties of eggplants this year and just the poblanopeppers so that's all that we have om the Garden as of April now let's get down tothe details of what exactly happened in April now let's look at some of thebed preparations that we did for the summer
vegetables now I toped of all the raised bedsusing some organic planting soil now you can check your local garden center forsome good deals on organic potting soil this one is from Costco if you have aCostco near your home this is a excellent planting soil mix its organic it hasa lot of good organic matter and what I'm gonna do is just empty this bagonto this raised bed and then try to break down all the pieces now let's look atwhat exactly this contains if you look at the ingredients it has a lot of goodorganic matter and it also has a lot of
nutritional value as listed on the back so you just break down all the mix intothe raised beds and then you can mix it very well now I've advised a lot of my fellowgardeners to make sure that they have their raised beds ready well in advance soif you're adding new soil to your raised beds I would suggest wait for at least two weeksbecause it takes a little bit of time for the organic matter in the soil tobreak down so if you're doing this early the earlier you do the better it is ifyou're starting your raised bed like
Growing Grapes in Texas Jim Kamas Central Texas Gardener
I love Tait Moring's sense ofgardening style. Thanks so much for opening your gates for us. Right now we're going to talk aboutgrowing grapes. One of the hottest topics here in Texas because of all the wineries. We have Jim Kamas with us. It's great to have you back on theprogram. Welcome. Thanks, Tom, I appreciate it. Welcome back to Central Texas Gardener. You've just published a great new bookGrowing Grapes in Texas.
Congratulations on that! Thanks a lot. It took a couple years to get done, but I'm I'm pretty happy with it. Well you know, like I said, it's a hottopic. A lot of people are very interested in growing grapes in their backyard. Maybe one ofthose famous table grapes, like Concord or something like that. Well Concord ispretty tough to grow here. Concord likes acid soils which we don'thave. And it's much more adapted a cooler climates. If you wanted to grow Fredonia or some of the other lebrusca types, they'll work, but
Concord is a pretty tough one to grow here. Ok, well your book is filled with tips aboutvarieties and things like that. Let's focus on that home grower. You know , I know for example I go out to hillcountry every now and again to go to Fredericksburg, places around there. And I see wineries springing up like mushrooms now. And it kinda makes me wanna grow grapeshere in town. What does a home gardner need to know to get startedé Well if you're a homeowner and you want to grow enough vines to produce a little bit of wine
my advice is plant what you like. If you're planting a commercial vineyards we're going to have a very different discussion. But if you like Merlot, plant Merlot. If you like Syrah, plant Syrah. For smallscale, you have no big economicinvestment, so plant what you like and go with that. Yeah okay, that makes sense. In terms of the space needs, the sun,
all those kinds of things, grapes arerather particular and disease prone. Yes. So let's give people an idea of whatthe basics are that they would need to have any kind of success. Sure. Commercially our rows are spaced nine to ten feet apart, but in the backyard if you are maintaining the row centers with alawnmower or something, you can place the rows as close as six feet apart.And you can also go as tight as five to six feet between vines. You can put a lot of vines in arelatively small space.
So small space is OK. When we talk about the rows, we are talking about providing structures on which the the vines can grow and supportthemselves. Yes, a lot of times in California you'll see these free standing vines that are called head pruned vines. They don't do very well here because we need to keep our vines up off the ground because it rains here duringthe summer and they are very disease prone as you mentioned.