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
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.
How To Grow Lots of Grape Vines for FREE
Every year I try to add as many edible plantsto my garden as I can, while spending as little money as possible. Most of my gardening budgetgoes to buying plants. Today, I want to show you a technique that you can use to get alot of grape vines for very little cost, if any cost at all, as long as you or one ofyour neighbors or friends has a existing grape vine. Really, the only three materials you're goingto need for this project are a knife, a pot with some potting soil or just compost fromyour yard. That what I used. And of course, you're going to need the grape vine (for thecuttings). It's best if you try this before
the grape vine starts to leaf out, when it'sin the dormant state during the winter. Alright, so basically every year, you're probablygoing to prune a little bit of your grape vine, just to keep it in check and make surethe shape is how you want it to be as well as keeping it growing in the direction thatyou want. Well, you can take these cuttingsthese trimmingsfrom your grape vine and if they'reabout three nodes longsee, here's one node right here, and here's another node, and anothernodeyou're going to at least three nodes, if not four to five nodes. What you want to do on the end of your cutting,once you have it off the vine, is take one
end and shave off some of the hard outer barkof the vine, like so. It's going to expose the kind of fleshy, softer green wood that'son the inside of this cutting. That's going to make your vine more likely to root by exposingthis tender green area. I forget the exact name of it, but your vine will want to rootafter taking some damage to the outer layer of bark. So once you have your bark exposedthe greenfleshy inner part exposedyou're going to take your potting soil or compost, whateveryou're using, and stick it down into the soil. the damaged part of the cutting. And justmake sure it's nice and firm in the pot. Then
you're going to water it. Give it a reallygood watering and maybe put some mulch on it to keep it moist through the season. Andyour grape vinethe actual vine in the groundis going to leaf out first, so if it doesn'tstart to leaf out immediately, don't panic. It's gonna take a little bit longer for thecutting to actually leaf out because it's a cutting. it's not the actual plant. Ithas to develop a root system to feed the leaves before it can actually focus on growing intoa new plant. Just be patient. So then, after a few weeks, you'll probablynotice your main grape vine leafing out already. You're gonna see something like this. See,it's a new little leaf growing out of the
node on one of the cuttings I've already made.And it's gonna keep growing and develop a root system and the leaves will get bigger.And eventually, you'll have a cutting that's like THIS. Seeé It's forming new leaves oneach of the nodes. And so you just leave it in those pots, and the roots will start toform in the pot. I would recommend leaving it in for at least a whole season, about ayear, before actually transplanting it to the garden, just to make sure it's well established. If you notice that your grape vine cuttingis starting to leaf out, and it's well before your last frost date, and you anticipate frost,I would take your cutting inside, because
while the main grape vine may be able to handlethe damage from a late frost, your cutting won't survive, because it's so delicate andstill establishing. So if you notice that, I would take the cutting inside. that'swhat I've been doing. But other than that, once your vine establishes you'll have anotherwhole free grape vine to grow anywhere you please in your yard. And you can even givethem away! I've had about a 75% success rate with this method and I didn't spend anything.I put some compost in a pot, cut some of my vine off just from normal yeartoyear pruning,and not I have more grape vines! Well, I hope you found this short guide usefuland if you did, please consider subscribing