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.
Planting Garden Vines Family Plot
Hi Joellen! We have vines here. Vines! We want to try to cover this fence withthese vines. With these vines, okay. All right. And we're next to the garden, here, so wewant to attract some butterflies. Chris Sure. And bees and help pollinate the garden.So, we want somethin' that's gonna bloom throughout
the growing season. And that's what you needto consider when you are selecting a vine. Chris Okay. What is the vine's purpose in your gardenéI mean, is it supposed to just cover a trellis or an entrywayé Is it gonna be around a featureéOr is it gonna be a standalone planté And what are you trying to doé Are you tryin'to screen somethingé Do you need an evergreen vineé There are several evergreen vines outthere. Carolina jasmine is one. Chris Yeah, I'm familiar with that. And the Clematis armand is another one.But that's not our focus, here. Our focus
is to have it blooms as much of the seasonas we possibly can, so we have chosen two vines. One's native, is a honeysuckle, andthis is a red blooming variety that will bloom the majority of the summer. Okay. And is sempervirens and I believe this isMr. Wheeler. And this one is a Clematis that blooms a large part of the summer. It maynot bloom in the very heat of the summer, but it will when it's not really, really hotoutside. Chris Okay.
It'll bloom before and then after it. After it, okay. So, and it's a nice purple color that'llattract birds, and butterflies, and bees. Chris Yeah, it is pretty. And this is called Jackmanii. And so, we'llplant several of these here around the garden and hopefully it'll attract the bees thatwe are looking for for our vegetables. Okay. Do vines need a lot of help as faras growingé I mean, do you have to put fertilizers or, you knowé
Yes, you need to treat them just like youwould any of your perennials. Chris Okay. 'Cause they are perennial, they will losetheir leaves. These will lose their leaves, but the stems will still be there. You'regoing, we're going to plant them. They're gonna need well drained soil. Chris Yeah. And I know we have a problem with that inthis area, so we're going to add some amendment to raise up the area that we're gonna plantthem so we know that they will be well drained.
And then, I would put a little bit of fertilizerwith them. Chris Okay, so you would, okay. As when you plant them. And about once ayear fertilize and with a slowrelease fertilizer. In the fall, I'd let them do what they'regonna do. And I would let them go through the winter and in the spring is when I would,February is when I start looking at trimming them back if I was going to trim them. Chris Okay, okay. Okay. This one's already staked a littlebit and that's good. We'll leave that in the
How to Grow Mexican Honeysuckle More on Selecting Potting Soil for Growing Mexican Honeysuckle
Here is another reason that you might notwant to use a cheaper potting soil. I believe in recycling, you might say the potting soilinstead of throwing it out. This potting soil is recycled and this is some of the cheaperstuff. You can see it's gray and has some dirt in it. I've been watering it with mywater canto try to get some moisture in it. Well the water is coming out of the bottom right thereis water standing on the top but I can take my hand and dig to right there and there'sdry dirt. In other words a cheap potting soil doesn't absorb and retain moisture as wellas an expensive one that has a lot more organic matter. Organic matter absorbs moisture andthe more organic you have in your potting
mix the more moisture it's going to absorb,the more it's going to retain and the quicker it's going to absorb it. So that is somethingto think about, over here I'm fixing to pot these Mexican honeysuckles in some premiumgrade recycled materials that are very dried but I'm going to add a little bit of waterto it to try to get it started.