Growing Grapes For Leaves

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.

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 in Mesquite, 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 my 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. So it just looks like in their front

yard here they have a couple stone fruit treesas well as a fig tree.  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. 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. Theother thing about it is it's a beautiful plant.  John: It is. 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. John: Aloe vera for the teeth, oh wow.  Ronnie: For the gums. 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.  John: Oh wow, I didn't know that. Ronnie: Yeah, it's very good. This is one of those plants that really requires, basicallynothing.  John: No careéRonnie: No care.  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

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!.

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