Growing Grapes in Texas Jim Kamas Central Texas Gardener
I love Tait Moring's sense ofgardening style. Thanks so much for opening your gates for us. Right now we're going to talk aboutgrowing grapes. One of the hottest topics here in Texas because of all the wineries. We have Jim Kamas with us. It's great to have you back on theprogram. Welcome. Thanks, Tom, I appreciate it. Welcome back to Central Texas Gardener. You've just published a great new bookGrowing Grapes in Texas.
Congratulations on that! Thanks a lot. It took a couple years to get done, but I'm I'm pretty happy with it. Well you know, like I said, it's a hottopic. A lot of people are very interested in growing grapes in their backyard. Maybe one ofthose famous table grapes, like Concord or something like that. Well Concord ispretty tough to grow here. Concord likes acid soils which we don'thave. And it's much more adapted a cooler climates. If you wanted to grow Fredonia or some of the other lebrusca types, they'll work, but
Concord is a pretty tough one to grow here. Ok, well your book is filled with tips aboutvarieties and things like that. Let's focus on that home grower. You know , I know for example I go out to hillcountry every now and again to go to Fredericksburg, places around there. And I see wineries springing up like mushrooms now. And it kinda makes me wanna grow grapeshere in town. What does a home gardner need to know to get startedé Well if you're a homeowner and you want to grow enough vines to produce a little bit of wine
my advice is plant what you like. If you're planting a commercial vineyards we're going to have a very different discussion. But if you like Merlot, plant Merlot. If you like Syrah, plant Syrah. For smallscale, you have no big economicinvestment, so plant what you like and go with that. Yeah okay, that makes sense. In terms of the space needs, the sun,
all those kinds of things, grapes arerather particular and disease prone. Yes. So let's give people an idea of whatthe basics are that they would need to have any kind of success. Sure. Commercially our rows are spaced nine to ten feet apart, but in the backyard if you are maintaining the row centers with alawnmower or something, you can place the rows as close as six feet apart.And you can also go as tight as five to six feet between vines. You can put a lot of vines in arelatively small space.
So small space is OK. When we talk about the rows, we are talking about providing structures on which the the vines can grow and supportthemselves. Yes, a lot of times in California you'll see these free standing vines that are called head pruned vines. They don't do very well here because we need to keep our vines up off the ground because it rains here duringthe summer and they are very disease prone as you mentioned.
How to Prune Grapes Summer
Hi, I'm Tricia, a California organic gardener and today we're going to talk about summer maintenance for your table grapes we've had an extremely wet season thisyear and my table grapes have gone bonkers I'm growing four different types of tablegrapes here and there's a lot of vegetative growth making for a very densecanopy over the grape vines earlier in the spring, the shoots were thinned when they were about six to twelve inches long you should have about six to eightshoots per foot of canopy at the same time as thinning the shoots, I also cut the suckers off at the trunk
and i'm going to continue to trim these suckers throughout the season, as necessary you see there's not enough sunlight getting into this little fruit clusters the sunlight is what helps improve theflavor and the quality of the fruit by having so much foliage around thecluster, I'm also at risk for disease the first step is to take these long shoots and tuck them into the trellising and keep them out of the fruiting zone that helped a lot but you can see there'sstill a lot of hanging vines I'm going to trim back this shoot that has no clusters on it
if you're going to trim back a shoot that has clusters, be sure and leave about 1517 fullsized leaves before you make your cut cut as little as possible and try to cut atthe point where the leaves are half the size of the mature leaves these smaller leaves haven't startedproducing food yet so the vine won't miss them as much asit would miss these larger food producing leaves the grape vines are looking a lot better the cutting is going to stimulate the growth so you don't want to do this too late in the season if the fruit is just beginning to ripen,it's too late to cut
now that I've tamed the vines, it's time to thin the fruit cluster thin when the fruit has just setand before it gets too big for goodsized table grapes leave onecluster per shoot in order to improve the size of thegrapes, snip off the very bottom of the cluster I'm happy to have completed my summermaintenence on my table grape vines now I look forward to grape jam, grape jelly,grape juice, and those frozen grape treats so enjoy your grape vines and Grow Organic for Life!.
How to Grow Kiwi
Hi, I'm Tricia, an organic gardener. Today I'm going to plant a kiwi vine. Kiwis are originally from Asia, but did you know that you can plant one right here in North America in your backyardé One kiwi vine will produce 50 100 pounds of fruit! Site selection is important. You want to put kiwis in full sun, but you don't want to plant them in any kind of cold microclimate, because even though they're hardy down to zone 4, which is about 30 degrees below zero, they can get frost damage after they break dormancy.
They must have well drained soil. Dig a hole the same size as the root system. So we're going to put the kiwi in the hole and we don't wanna add any fertilizer. These roots can easily be burned bynitrogen. Plant the kiwi to the same level it was planted in the nursery. Don't mound up the the soil around the trunk, because that can kill the vine. Kiwis are vines and they're trained and prunedlike the Muscadine grapes, and if you're only planting one like I am,make sure it's self pollinating.
Pergolas, or a Tbar trellis, are the twomost popular ways of trellising kiwis, but feel free to experiment. The only requirement is that you're ableto get to them to prune easily. Prune the vine back to a single cane andthat's going to be our trunk. Like a grape vine, a kiwi vine should betrained with a nice straight trunk. I'm putting in this bamboo stake to helptrain my little vine. Don't allow your kiwi to wrap around thestake however. Make sure and give your kiwi fruit a lot of water. I'm installing this Olson sprinkler, which works great.
Your hardy kiwi vine will produce fuzzless fruit a little smaller than what you find in the grocery store, and if you need to protect it from frost after it breaks dormancy, try these Agribon frost blanketsand Grow Organic for Life!.