Grape Propagation Seed

Umbrella Kniffin System for Growing Grapes

David Handley: I'm David Handley, with theUniversity of Maine Cooperative Extension, and we're here to talk about pruning grapes.Very simple system for farnorthern production. Here in Maine, we need to protect the vinesas best we can through the winter, but at the same time try to get enough light andexposure to the canes that we're going to get good fruit set, and good fruit quality. One of the systems you can use for labruscatype or concord type grapes, which are the ones that do best here in Maine, which isthe umbrella kniffin. As opposed to the four arm kniffin, the umbrella kniffin puts allof its canes up at the top, or the first year

growth that's going to fruit. What we're talking about with cane growthhere is one yearold growth that has a chocolate brown color, and nice smooth bark with budson it. We're going to be saving four canes, plus the permanent trunk, to give us all ofour fruiting structure. Everything else is going to be coming off of here, and that includesanything that fruited last year. You can tell the two yearold canes, or thecanes that fruited last year, because they'll be thicker, and they'll have gray, peelingbark. All of these are going to come off, and we're going to save the one yearold canewith the chocolate brown color, and the smooth

bark. The first step in pruning is to look at ourpermanent trunk and remove all of the two yearold growth, the growth that fruited lastyear, saving a few canes that we'll be using for fruiting this year. Our first step isto cut some of these off, looking at that older bark there. We just cut that out, getit right out of there. This will open up the planting, and that twoyearold wood is not going to fruit. Unless we take it out, we'll find that our fruitingwood gets further and further away from the trunk. Part of the reason we're pruning isto keep that fruiting wood concentrated right

near the trunk. With the umbrella kniffin, which is what we'repruning to here, we're only going to maintain four of those fruiting canes. We want themall concentrated near the top of the trunk, or the top wire on our twowire trellis. We'regoing to take each of the canes that remain behind. As you can see here, here's my nicefruiting cane, smooth bark. All these are buds that are going to breakand give us long, green shoots that will have bunches of grapes on them. We're going todrape them over the top wire, and then we're going to attach them to the bottom wire, togive you that kind of quot;umbrellaquot; look, thus

the name of the system called the quot;umbrellakniffin.quot; Then we're going to cut off the ends of thecanes, so that there's only about 10 buds on each one. We just count those from thetrunk. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10. If I need to leave one ortwo on there to make it reach the bottom wire, that's fine. I'll just go to where I can attachthis to the bottom wire, like that. I need two for the other side, to completeour umbrella. You can see this leaves me with several other fruiting canes, and I need tosave some of those as well, but they don't need to be as long. What I'm calling theseare quot;renewal spurs,quot; because we need the buds

from these shoots to come out and give uscane that we'll be able to put up on the wire next year. For every fruiting cane that I'm leaving behind,I also need to cut some renewal cane, or renewal spurs, to provide us with fruiting wood fornext year. I just cut these back to one or two buds, and if they're not where I wantthem I can cut them off completely. But for every fruiting cane, I need to leave at leastone renewal spur. I tend to leave a couple of extra renewalspurs here in Maine, because I'm very sensitive to the fact that I'm likely to get winterinjury almost every year.

Seed Germination Scarification Stratification and Soaking

Hi, I'm Tricia, and organic gardener. Starting plants from seed can be a lot of fun, however it can also be tough, because some plants have seeds that are hard to germinate. Today I'm going to give you some tips on how to germinate those tough seeds. Some seeds have characteristics that serve them well in the wild, but can be frustrating for the gardener. I'm talking about dormancy periods, tough seed coats, and even light requirements. There are few different things we can do to increase the chances of germination. Scarification, stratification and soaking.

And all must be done with love in your heart! Scarification is used on seeds that have a tough outer shell, like nasturtium and morning glory. You can think of it as scarring the seed coat to allow in moisture and gases necessary for germination. If you're using the file, you don't want to scratch the seeds too much, just enough that the seeds are dulled and you can see the scratches. If you use the nail clippers, you want a definite knick in the seed coat. Another method of scarification is to put the seeds in very hot, but not boiling water. Put them in the water and then let the water cool down to room temperature,

and then let them soak for another 1224 hours. Plant the seeds immediately after soaking. Some seeds need what is called stratification. This process mimics the natural freeze and thaw cycles that some seeds require in order to germinate. Wildflowers and perennial flowers are often planted in the fall and they may stratify naturally. Or, you can ensure that this process happens with a few simple steps. To stratify the seed, we're just gonna mix it with a little bit of moist, not wet, perlite, vermiculite, or builder's sand. Mix the seed and medium in a plastic bag, you want 1 part seed to 3 parts medium.

Place the bag in the refrigerator, not the freezer, for about 10 12 weeks, and check it every so often to make sure that the medium stays moist. After that period, take the bag out and plant the seeds along with the medium. Be gentle with the seeds, in case any have sprouted. There's scarification, stratification and then there's just plain old soaking of the seeds for about 1224 hours in room temperature water. And seeds like beans, peas and okra benefit a lot from this soaking. Parsley is a special case.

The seeds from parsley are actually coated naturally with a substance that retards germination. It really helps to soak the parsley seeds for 48 hours, and change the water twice. For some seeds, they don't need soaking, they don't need scarring, but the amount of light that they get while they're germinating is important. For example, alyssum needs light to germinate, so it's planted very shallow. On the other hand, fennel will not germinate unless it's in total darkness, so you'll plant it deeper. If you want to learn more about starting your own seeds, I recommend this book quot;The New Seed Starter Handbook.quot;

So start your own seeds, and Grow Organic for Life!.

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