Organic Muscadine Plants

Growing Grapes

Hi, I'm Tricia, and organic gardener. Grapes are a beautiful edible landscapeplant, as well as producing delicious fruit. Today I'm going to plant a new grapevine. If you're not ready to plant your grapesas soon as they arrive, that's ok, you can heel them in. You can either dig a shallow trench, put the grape vines in and cover the roots with soil, or you can do like I've done and put the roots in a bucket, cover them with soil and protect themwith a little bit of straw.

Grapes are tolerant of a wide variety of soils, but it is important to check with your Master Gardener or local ag extension to find out what varieties will do best in your climate. Your site selection should be in fullsun with a southern exposure, away from trees. And avoid depressions where cool air can collect. Ideally, preparation for planting yourgrapes will start the year before with a soil test and an appropriate cover crop. Grapes like moderate fertilityand a pH of about 5.5 7. In most climates you can plant grapes in late winter or early spring.

For northern climates you might want towait until a little bit later in the spring. Just dig a hole the same size as theroots and don't add any fertilizer. You don't want to get more leaves than fruit! Soak the roots of your grapevine forabout 2 to 3 hours before planting, and then you can prune off any damaged roots. But it's important to leave as much of the root system as possible. Make sure that the roots are loose andnot clumped together. The hole should be deep enough to plantthe vine to the same level it was planted before,

with a few inches of soilover the longest roots. Gently back fill the soil with thetopsoil first. And if it hasn't rained recently make sure and give your plant some water. You want to train your newly plantedlittle grapevine to grow into a big grapevine with a straight single trunk reaching the trellis. In order to do that we're going to prune this plant so that it has one straightish cane. By the second year you need some kind of a support system. This two wire support system is very common and easy to build.

To train your grapevine to grow straight upto the trellising, you may need to do a temporary supportlike bamboo and then just tie it togetherwith a little twine or some tape. These are flame grapes, so I'll betraining them to a bilateral cordon. That is I want a nice straight trunk. And then I'll choose two buds that will be trained into big, permanent branches on either side of the trunk. It's really important to tag your plants.I use these permanent zinc plant tags

its really important to know what variety you have so that you can prune appropriately. Whether you have a big vineyard or you'vejust planted a few grape vines, grapes will benefit from cover cropping. So get ready for winter pruning,and Grow Organic for Life!.

Grape Insect Prevention

.other urban grape planting, and the types of things that youshould be doing right now on your grapes is, again, Disease Control. These plantslook pretty clean right now. You can tell there's some spray residualright here. They've been spraying them, otherwise they would have powdery mildew,downy mildew, black rot, and a number of other problems. The cluster grapes are quite healthy, and

the one thing that I would watch out forat this point in the year is as we mentioned early July is Japanese beetles willbe showing up any day now, and what Japanese beetles do is they feedon the leaves, and they will also destroy the berries,and they give you this type of appearance where they eat holes in the leaves. One of thethings that I tell people is that if your gonna control Japanesebeetles you actually wanna put materials on to protect against them

before they get there. Once they startdoing damage other Japanese beetles are attracted andthey will be more damage than they normally would. There are a number of different products thatare out there that can be used, but one organic product that you mightconsider using even before that there is called quot;neemquot;. NEEM. And that one is nice because it notonly kills the Japanese beetles, but it has a repellent quality to it. Itcan repel the Japanese beetles

from 24 to 48 hours. Okay.

How to Get Rid of Japanese Beetles

Jim DillPest Management Specialist Hi, I'm Jim Dill. I'm the pest managementspecialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and I want to talk to you a bitabout Japanese beetles. Here in the state of Maine, depending on where you live andweather conditions, Japanese beetles start coming out at the end of June. Give or takea week on either side of that, and you're going to be able to look outside and findJapanese beetles just about everywhere. What we want to do first is talk a littlebit about the biology. When the adults come out sometime around the end of June or beginningof July, the first thing they do is look for

a food source. Once they start feeding onthe food source, their priority is finding a mate. When they find one, they begin matingand lay their eggs about 10 days later. In most parts of the state, the Japanese beetleis laying eggs in the turf by the middle or end of July. The larvae hatch a couple weekslater, so by about the middle of August you've got larvae feeding on the roots of your grass.When we talk about management, there are two different strategies to work with. One iscontrolling the adults, and the other is to deal with the larvae. One of the things Isuggest is to fill a container with water and put in a little dish washing liquid. Onceyou've got a few drops in, it breaks the

water's surface tension so the beetles fallin and drown. Then all you do is place the bucket underneath the plant and start tapping.Yes, a lot of them will fly away – that's just the nature of them.The next method of controlling them works great, especially if you have kids. For somereason, kids just love to get out there with a regular old car vacuum or hand vacuum. Justcharge it up and vacuum up the beetles. Admittedly, once you've done this, you probably wantto dedicate the vacuum to doing this, because it gets a little messy inside. Once you'vevacuumed them up, you've got them trapped in there, so you open it, dump it into soapywater and the adults drown.

There are several organic materials availableto the homeowner, including spray pesticides that work quite well. A couple of them containsome type of insecticidal soap, which actually smothers the adult beetles. You can also usesomething containing Neem, which is an antifeedant – it prevents the beetles from feeding.Once you spray it on, they will stop feeding and eventually leave the plant alone and diedue to its toxic effects. I'd be remiss if I didn't talk about thislast thing, and that is Japanese beetle traps. Everybody asks, “Should I use Japanese beetletrapséâ€� Of course, the big joke is, “Yeah, give them to your neighbor, put them in hisor her yard and all the beetles go over there.â€�

Well, that's not so far from the truth.What happens is there are three things that act when you've got a Japanese beetle trap.You've got the bright yellow color, and then there are two different lures we putin there. One is a pheromone lure that attracts just the males, and the other one's a florallure that attracts both males and females. So they go to fly into the trap, but they'renot the best flyers in the world. They're good, but they're not the best at landings.So if your trap is sitting in your rose bush, they go flying into it but miss and get allover the roses. So even though your Japanese beetle trap willbe great, will work and will just be full

of beetles, you want to take a stake and putyour trap at least 50 feet away from what you're trying to protect. As I said, theJapanese beetles come out here in Maine sometime around the end of June, start mating and laytheir eggs sometime from the middle of July until the end of July. What they look foris a nice grassy area. The females go down and lay their eggs, and within 10 days, dependingon the weather and the temperature, those eggs hatch.As soon as they hatch, the first thing they start doing is feeding on the roots of theplant. If you want to try to control these stages of the Japanese beetle and don'tmind using a synthetic insecticide, there

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