Muscadine Grape Vines Virginia

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!.

Daniel Huber and the Lyre Trellis System

Daniel Huber, you have a very special training system here in this vineyard.What is the name of this systemé This is the Lyre System. I planted this plot in the 80's and 90's and at that time we had a few years where the grapes didn't mature as much as we would like. At that time Professor Alain Carbonneau was doing research in Bordeaux and was working on his dissertation I actually read it once. It is a piece of mathematical work that analyses how one can get the maximum amount of sunlight onto the leaves of the vine So everything is calculated with top mathematical precisioné I have to be honest, I didn't understand it all as it is quite complicated But he analysed various systems with different angles and through that analysis he found the Lyre System.

This system has a number of benefits. Because of the separation in the wall of leaves they can enjoy more sun during the mid day. So at noon this whole part here is in the sun. Not just the top aswe can see over there, but really the whole area is in the sun. This leads to a higher rate of evaporation from the leaves whichcan more quickly lead to the moderate aquastress that we winemakers like When the plant is under moderate aquastress, then it producesmore phenols and stores up more tannins. By moderate aquastress, you mean that the vine does not haveas much water as it would like to have The plant has enough in order to produce a good wine, but not more And that is of course particlarly important for us here in Ticino wherewe most of the time have too much water And the phenols you mentioned are then exactly the flavor components that one is looking for in a good Merlot

Yes and of course more tannins as the tannins give the wine structure And this training system, do you keep the vines higher or in some other way different from a normal training system Well, this system has another benefit, because the walls are slopedwe can let the sprouts grow longer and hang over When the wall is straight up, then you quickly reach a point wherethe sprouts start to get damaged by blowing in the wind Here we can let them hang longer and then we staple them to thetop wires and we can cut them as late as in July When you have to cut the top of the sprouts early, then you getmore new late growing sprouts Through that you get the leaves more bundled together in the lower area. We really want for each leaf to have its place in the sun. Well, that is what we all want I guess

And with all those new sprouts it is simply not possible. So this isthe whole rationale behind the Lyre System. So this is the Lyre System, calculated with high mathematical precicion.Daniel thank you very much.

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