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.
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!.
Growing Gourds Part 3 of 5 Snake Gourds
Resembling a snake This gourd is one of the most interestinggourds to grow in your garden So the snake gourd is a gourd that actuallylooks like a snake It looks like a snake that is hanging downfrom the vine Which gives it its name There are a lot of types of snake gourds Some of the scientific names are here on yourscreen
I'm not going to try and pronounce them The snake gourd produces these long gourdswhich must be cooked before eating And its one of the most delicious gourds Ihave grown in my garden So let's talk a little bit about the pollinationof these gourds These are the male flowers As you can see there's no fruit growing behindthe flowers And they come in a bunch Now let's take a look at the female flower
Which is distinctively different And has a little fruit growing at the baseof the flower as you can see here Now what we do is for pollination we justtake the male flower And we just try to deposit the pollen fromthe stamens of the male flower to the female flower And when the pollination happens, the fruitis formed Now in nature, this is done by bees or bywind But by doing it yourself you ensure that thefruit production goes up significantly by
doing these specially for gourds Manual pollination works wonders for gourds So this is how a fully grown snake gourd lookslike Remember that when harvesting snake gourdsdo not wait for too long Or the gourd becomes fibrous So this is pretty much the time you can startharvesting your gourds So let's take a look at some of the typesof snake gourds that you can grow This variety produces dark green long fruits
That have white stripes This is one of the most prolific growing snakegourds that you can grow They grow quite long and quite big Now this is the other type of snake gourdthat you can grow These are white in color and a lot thicker And a little shorter than the other gourdvariety Nut again a prolific grower I think I was very satisfied with the amountof gourds that I got from both of these varieties
So its now time for our first harvest As you can see this snake gourd has becomepretty big and before it starts becoming fibrous Its time to harvest this snake gourd So very easy to harvest And that's a pretty nice sized snake gourd So here are both the snake gourd varietiesside by side As you can see they look a lot different