Four Arm Kniffin System for Growing Grapes
David Handley: I'm David Handley, vegetableand small fruit specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Today we'regoing to be talking about a simple system for pruning hardy grapes here in Maine. The pruning system I like to use is very simple.It keeps the plant open, so it gets light in the summer time, but it also protects theplant a little bit in the winter. This system works best with concord type or labrusca typegrapes, which are the grapes that tend to grow best in Maine. There's really a couple of systems that willwork well for labrusca type grapes. The first
one I want to talk about is the four arm kniffin,and that's what we're going to prune first. The four arm kniffin consists of a perennialtrunk, which goes from the ground right up to a top wire, which is set at about fivefeet. Coming off of this trunk, we will have four arms, or canes, oneyear old growth.Two on the top wire, running each side of the top wire, and two on a lower wire. Thislower wire should be set at about two and a half feet off the ground. Every year, we're going to come in and pruneit so we continue to have a perennial trunk, but only four one yearold trunks to producethe fruit.
Here is our permanent trunk. You can see here,this is a cane from last year. Two yearold cane, this was our fruiting cane last summer,and you can see the difference. Here's this year's cane, that nice chocolate brown colorand smooth bark, and here we go with the older cane, the two yearold cane. The bark is startingto peel, and has more of a gray look to it, so we know that this particular shoot isn'tgoing to fruit again. It's the one yearold shoots that come off it that will fruit. This is going to get pruned out, so that wecan keep our fruiting wood closer to the trunk. We'll just take that back to a good fruitingshoot, and we'll start to cut it out. This
is where it gets fun. We need to wrestle thisout of the trellis, and of course, all these little tendrils have tied it up and aroundmost of the growth that's there. It takes a little bit of cutting, but be careful notto break the fruiting canes that you want to leave behind. Pull it off, and that will open the plantingup so we can see what we have left for good fruiting wood for this year. We've taken offthe four fruiting canes that we left last year, and you can see pretty much all that'sleft, at this point, is the green shoots from last year, that will provide us with goodfruit for this year.
Now we need to choose which four we want toput up. We're going to have four canes. One, two, three, four. Two for the lower wire,two for the upper wire, each heading off in different directions. What I want to look for in this case is canethat's got this nice chocolate brown color, and is about 38 of an inch in diameter. Aboutthe width of your little finger. If it's thinner than that, if it's very weak, it won't producegood fruit. Thin stuff like this, less than 38 of an inch in diameter, we'll just cutthat right out. Here we've got one that's going to go in thisdirection, that looks very nice. I'm going
to count, remember we want about 10 buds onit, so we'll count our buds. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10. ThenI just cut out beyond that, because the weaker stuff at the very end isn't going to producevery good fruit. I have my four arms, but you can see I stillhave some leftover canes. What I'm going to use these for are what we call quot;renewal spurs.quot;I'm going to cut these back so that they just have one or two buds on them. What I'm goingto use these buds for, the green shoots that will emerge from these buds and grow out,will be the canes that I'll be putting on the wire next year for fruiting. We call thesequot;renewal spurs.quot;
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!.
Growing Aloe Vera Fruit Trees Grapes and Vegetables in the Nevada Desert
This is John Kohler with growingyourgreens on another field trip. Yes, another subscriber visit, actually these aren't subscribers,well these are subscribers and friends of mine. We're out her inÂ Mesquite,Â Nevada,and going to check out what they're growing, and I also got them a gift. This is the otherone I brought too in myÂ carryon luggage, took a lot of space. I got one other giftfor them too. Loquats, so these are fresh harvested loquats from California, beforeI took off and I know they love all kinds of fruit, so I'm bringing them some freshloquats from California. So let's go in and check out what they gotgrowing.Â So it just looks like in their front
yard here they have a couple stone fruit treesas well as a fig tree.Â So we're here in Ronnie and Minh's backyard.One of the things that immediately popped out at me was how many aloe vera plants theyhave growing. I love aloe vera and I'm growing the Japanese aloe, but they're growing theking aloe right here. It's a succulent it grows really well in the dessert and it'salso edible. Many people don't know that it's edible. Youcould cut it and get the juice and squeeze out the juice on sunburns and cuts and thingslike that, but it's also really good to take internally. It's supposed to be really healingand good for you. So Ronnie why don't you
tell me how you guys use this aloe and inwhat kind of recipes you use in it. I mean, do you just eat the leaves wholeé Or do youcut them up and take or what do you doé Minh: We cut them.Â Ronnie: Well Minh will come out and she'll cut off a leaf, a nice thick one and thenshe'll peel it with her little Vietnamese peeling tool and then she'll take the inside,wash it off, slice it up, put it in a blender with some orange juice and then from there,that's basically it. When you whip it up it'll come out like an Orange Julius, you'll havea little bit of fuzzy and it's a great drink and you can add some sweetener there if you'rea person that likes sweetener, you can add
Minh: Sweetener andRonnie: a mint, almost anything that you wanted to that. But basically it's just orangejuice and aloe vera. I tell you Minh's been drinking this all her life but when she introducedit to me John, one thing that I found immediately was this is one of those things when you drinkit you feel it right away. You can feel something is happening in your stomach and then lateron in your body because this stuff goes to work, and you can feel it, it's powerful.Â Theother thing about it is it's a beautiful plant.Â John: It is.Â Ronnie: Right now it doesn't have its stalk and it's flower, but these things will growbeautiful flowers. So you get to look at it,
it's medicinal. Out in the dessert this isalmost like a staple because if you have any kind of a skin irritation, a bug bite, ora sun burn, you rub the, you break it off and rub the gel right on your skin and it'sthe same stuff that you buy in all these packages. But the thing is when you buy something ina package it'll be telling you it's made with aloe vera and it is, but usually it'll belike five percent or three percent aloe vera. When you put the real thing on a cut or aburn, it works, it really has some powerful stuff in there.Â John: Aloe vera for the teeth, oh wow.Â Ronnie: For the gums.Â John: For the gumsé
Ronnie: Actually I researched that becauseit's the same thing, it's antibacterial, that's why they use it on wounds and things likethat. So when you do put it on your gums it's great if you have any kind of a gum diseaseor close to it.Â John: Oh wow, I didn't know that.Â Ronnie: Yeah, it's very good. This is one of those plants that really requires, basicallynothing.Â John: No careéRonnie: No care.Â John: This is like one of the plants you plantand ignore and then it's going to do better than if you water it because if you waterit you're going to over water it and it doesn't