Planting Sweet Pea Vines

Serving Growing Ohios Grape and Wine Industry

Last January, January 6ththe official day of the polar vortex we experienced really damaging temperatures.Anywhere from around twenty below zero to about sixteen below zerowhere it killed the fruiting buds and it killed actual grape vines.And we've never experienced any damage like this before.And we've never we really didn't know the extentof the damage on the vines until April May in that time frame when we didn't see anybuds developing and even some of thetrunks cracked.

But the impact of that was dramaticwe have no crop at all in our vinifera and we grow varieties like Chardonnay, PinotNoir, Cabernet Franc, Rieslingand without any grapes, we were forced to buya lot of grapes. But it's had a huge impactas far as the grape production not to mention the actual wine losswhich is two or three years spanning. Because in some of the vineyardsthat will have to be replaced from the ground up

with new vines we will not get the first crop is three to four years out.So the impact is just dramatic and millions and millions of dollars.Actually in the viticulture program at Ohio Stateone of our focus of the research is cold hardiness of grapes.So really that's one of my expertise in this fieldof learning more about how grapes cope with freezing with cold in general.After this cold event our growers really needed a lot of help in terms of how to not onlyassess

the damage but also how to deal with the vinesthat are damaged. And we conducted a lot of workshops just toshow them how to prune the vines. Our relationship with Ohio State goes wayback in the 1980'sWe've had a long standing relationship with ongoing research in the wineryand in the vineyards. Currently with Imed Damiour research stems lately from the cold winter vortexwhere we've had a lot of the vines killed and damagedfrom the minus twenty degree temperatures.

Current research is kind of involved tothe extent of the damage to determine the actual damage andto have pruning studies done to see what was the best way to prunethese injured vines. We have not had temperatures that coldsince 1994 here and myself and a lot of the grape growershave not experienced this cold damage. So we need research to help uskind of figure out what's the next step and see what our future is in these vineyards.

How to sow and grow sweet peas tutorial with Thompson Morgan

Sweet peas are a cottage garden classic, producing beautiful flowers with the most gorgeous scent and they make great cut flowers too. You can sow them in autumn in pots of compost and overwinter them in a cold frame or a cool greenhouse or you can wait until spring and sowthem in pots or even directly into the ground. Before you sow them you can soak theseeds in tepid water. It helps to rehydrate them. Although it'snot essential it does help to get them off to a quicker start. These seeds have been soaked over night

and you can see how they've swollen up compared to those straight from the packet. Use a good quality compost and sow several seeds to a pot. Today I'm going to sow five seeds into anice deep 10cm pot that will give the roots plenty of room to develop. Sow them about 1cm deep. Coverthe seed with compost and water them well. I'm sowing a lovely blend of colours called 'Heirloom Mix' but you can buy individual colours if you prefer. If sowing seems like too much effort youcould even buy sweet peas as plug plants Place them in a bright sunny position

and as the shoots appear keep an eye outfor slugs as they love young sweet pea shoots. As the seedlings grow they'll start tobecome tall and leggy but you can encourage the plants toproduce side shoots by pinching out the tip of each stem. Simply nip off the tip of the stem justabove a set of leaves. This will make each plant much bushierand more robust, and the more shoots there are, the more flowers will be produced. Once your sweet peas are growing well and the main risk of frost has passedyou can pop them outside to acclimatise

them to outdoor conditions for a week or so before planting them out. Plant your sweet peas out in a bright sunny position in your garden. Sweet peas like a really rich moistsoil so it's well worth adding a couple of buckets of compost to the planting area before you plant them. It helps to enrich the soil and will also hold moisture in theground during dry weather. Put your plant support frame in placebefore you start planting.

Turn each pot out and gently separate theplants. You can plant 2 or 3 seedlings in eachplanting hole for a nice full display. Aim to plant each group about 15cm apart. Sweet peas climb by twining theirtendrils around the support frame but it's helpful to guide their stems on tothe frame by using these special support rings. Throughout the season you'll need to keepthem well watered as dry soil will make them go to seed much quicker.

Make sure that you remove any faded flowers or seed pods as soon as possible to encourage more blooms to be produced. And don't forget that the more you cut the more flowers you'll get so you can enjoy them in your home too!.

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