Planting Grapes In Oklahoma

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.

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!.

Planting Blueberries

David Handley: I'm David Handley with theUniversity of Maine Cooperative Extension. Today we're going to talk about planting yourblueberries. Now, we've got the site all ready and youcan see our previous tutorial for information on that. Now it's time to put these in theground. The best time to plant your blueberries is in the early spring. You don't have towait until things are too warm. They can go in the ground just as soon as you can workthat soil up without it being too terribly muddy. So wait for the soil to dry out a bit,but that's the time to plant your blueberries.

Now typically what we get from a nursery isa one or two year old plant. It will be about this size, somewhere between a foot and twofeet tall with hopefully a nice, good root system down at the bottom. We can buy theseeither bare root, as you see here, or sometimes you can buy them in pots, too, if you're justbuying them from a local garden center. It doesn't matter. Both plants will work perfectlywell. If you're buying plants in quantity, the bare root is a cheaper way to go. So with this, we just want to unwrap themwhen they come wrapped up like this. You can see we've got a nice, fine root system hereready to go. If it looks a little compacted,

don't be afraid to work your fingers in thereand loosen things up a bit and get that ready to plant and ready to go. Now we want to dig a good sized hole for ablueberry plant. You can see here, I've got a ten dollar hole for a five dollar plant.That's exactly what we want to have here. We're going to take the soil out of thereand we're going to blend this soil one to one with some good source of organic matter.I like to use peat moss. It can be a little expensive if you're putting a lot of plantsin the ground. As we talked about in our previous tutorial,you can also use compost if you like. Just

be aware that the PH of the compost may bea little high for blueberries. You want to keep this PH about 4.8 to 5.2. The soil I've dug out of this hole, I justwant to blend it one to one with that peat moss. Just work that peat moss nicely intothe soil. And then that is what I'm going to backfill with. I put my plant in the hole. I spread the rootsout a little bit and I want to plant this plant at the same depth it was in the nursery.In other words, I want the soil to come right up to the top of the plant, maybe just a hairdeeper. But we don't need to plant it too

terribly deep. I'm going to fill a little of this blend backin to get this to the height I want it. Spread those roots out a bit. Break up any crustthat might be at the top. If it's got a little crown that's developed at the top, break thatdown because that can work as a wick and actually if that gets above the soil it can actuallydry the root system out, acting like a wick like that. We break that down, loosen those roots upwithout tearing them too badly, then backfill with our blend. Add a little more peat mosshere. Just backfill with that and just press

that down in place. Make sure the soil isnice and packed around it. We don't want to leave that part of the plant popped up, likeI said, because that will dry it out. When we've pressed this soil around we wantto end it such that you have a little bit of a dish going around the bush, a littlebit of a depression. The reason we're doing this is so that when we water this plant inthe water will collect there. Nice and firm around there. Just again, justbuild that soil up and a little bit of a dish around there. And then we can just water thatplant in. Make sure it's getting a good drink. Comeback after this water is soaked in. Give it

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