Growing Grapes In Japan

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;

Growing Grapes

We have plenty of wild concord grapes on ourproperty. However, the insurance company doesn't approve of our harvesting methods so it'sprobably best to plant some cultivated grapes. When I cleared the land for the greenhouse,it left plenty of area to plant various fruit producing plants which don't need the greenhouseto thrive. Plus why waste the space just growing grassé Taking a look at my 3rd grade drawing skills,I'm going to set three 4x4x10' treated posts 34 feet into the ground and space them 24'apart. This will allow for 8 plants in the space. Then I'll string 12 gauge galvanizedwire starting with the first wire 4246quot; from

the ground, then space the other two 12quot; apart.The plants can be spaced 6' apart and over time the vines can be trained along the 3wires. I had planned to set the posts first in theevent that I hit any large rocks while digging, however I blew a seal on the backhoe and hadto find some parts for it. So I took my chances and put the plants in first. The row shouldgo in a straight line and a 100' tape measure works well for marking out the locations ofeach post and plant. Jamming a piece of survey's tape at each mark does the trick. We're goingoldschool and using a pickaxe and shovel and digging a hole about 1 foot deep. Luckilythere weren't any large rocks in the way just

a few roots and small stones that the pickaxewas able to pluck out. Later, looking at the post holes, you'll see why I didn't dig themby hand. Planting the vines is fairly easy. I got theseseedless concord grapes from Gurney's for half price. I just remove the fiber that'sused for keeping the roots damp, spread out the roots a bit, and set it in the hole sothat all the roots that emerge from the vine will be just below the finished level of thesoil. All the dirt that came out of the hole was hardpan so I filled it with nice organicsoil, then compacted it down, and gave it a really good watering. It also importantto cover the area with mulch to help maintain

the moisture in the soil until the roots canget established. These will get watered every day for a couple of weeks. The actual work of planting the vines is quick.It's the preparation of digging out the rocks that takes all the time. A 30 cent Oring and a day to dismantle andreassemble the valve assembly and the backhoe is running again. I can now install the postsfor the wire arbor. It may not be the fastest backhoe, but it beats digging through therock with a pick and shovel. The holes are dug to about 4 feet which will provide a deepenough anchor to prevent the posts from leaning

from the future weight of the vines. Someof the rocks that I pulled out where bigger than the hole. If I had to dig these by hand,I probably would have only dug down a couple of feet, and then would have to anchor theposts with concrete and guywires. It seems like a really big hole for a post,but without an auger with rock drilling bit, it's probably the easiest way to set a post.A little cleanup at the bottom of the hole and it's ready. I'm using 4x4 treated lumberrated for direct burial. I'm not a fan of using treated lumber, but in order for itto last a long time, it's a necessary evil. I like to add two temporary cleats to thepost to help support it while I'm set it plumb

and backfill the hole. I also like to dropa few rocks around the base to hold it in place when I start to fill it in. I'll fillthe hole several inches at a time and compact it between each layer, then clean up the areawith some more woodchip mulch. The first wire starts roughly 4246 inchesfrom the ground and the second and 3 wires are spaced 12 inches apart. It will be theperfect snacking height for the deer. At each marking I'll drill a 38quot; hole through thepost and then put in a 516quot; eyebolt. The back side has a large fender washer and nut.Having a large washer will help to keep the nut from pulling into the post under the weightof the vines. It's fairly important to make

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

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