Four Arm Kniffin System for Growing Grapes
David Handley: I'm David Handley, vegetableand small fruit specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Today we'regoing to be talking about a simple system for pruning hardy grapes here in Maine. The pruning system I like to use is very simple.It keeps the plant open, so it gets light in the summer time, but it also protects theplant a little bit in the winter. This system works best with concord type or labrusca typegrapes, which are the grapes that tend to grow best in Maine. There's really a couple of systems that willwork well for labrusca type grapes. The first
one I want to talk about is the four arm kniffin,and that's what we're going to prune first. The four arm kniffin consists of a perennialtrunk, which goes from the ground right up to a top wire, which is set at about fivefeet. Coming off of this trunk, we will have four arms, or canes, oneyear old growth.Two on the top wire, running each side of the top wire, and two on a lower wire. Thislower wire should be set at about two and a half feet off the ground. Every year, we're going to come in and pruneit so we continue to have a perennial trunk, but only four one yearold trunks to producethe fruit.
Here is our permanent trunk. You can see here,this is a cane from last year. Two yearold cane, this was our fruiting cane last summer,and you can see the difference. Here's this year's cane, that nice chocolate brown colorand smooth bark, and here we go with the older cane, the two yearold cane. The bark is startingto peel, and has more of a gray look to it, so we know that this particular shoot isn'tgoing to fruit again. It's the one yearold shoots that come off it that will fruit. This is going to get pruned out, so that wecan keep our fruiting wood closer to the trunk. We'll just take that back to a good fruitingshoot, and we'll start to cut it out. This
is where it gets fun. We need to wrestle thisout of the trellis, and of course, all these little tendrils have tied it up and aroundmost of the growth that's there. It takes a little bit of cutting, but be careful notto break the fruiting canes that you want to leave behind. Pull it off, and that will open the plantingup so we can see what we have left for good fruiting wood for this year. We've taken offthe four fruiting canes that we left last year, and you can see pretty much all that'sleft, at this point, is the green shoots from last year, that will provide us with goodfruit for this year.
Now we need to choose which four we want toput up. We're going to have four canes. One, two, three, four. Two for the lower wire,two for the upper wire, each heading off in different directions. What I want to look for in this case is canethat's got this nice chocolate brown color, and is about 38 of an inch in diameter. Aboutthe width of your little finger. If it's thinner than that, if it's very weak, it won't producegood fruit. Thin stuff like this, less than 38 of an inch in diameter, we'll just cutthat right out. Here we've got one that's going to go in thisdirection, that looks very nice. I'm going
to count, remember we want about 10 buds onit, so we'll count our buds. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10. ThenI just cut out beyond that, because the weaker stuff at the very end isn't going to producevery good fruit. I have my four arms, but you can see I stillhave some leftover canes. What I'm going to use these for are what we call quot;renewal spurs.quot;I'm going to cut these back so that they just have one or two buds on them. What I'm goingto use these buds for, the green shoots that will emerge from these buds and grow out,will be the canes that I'll be putting on the wire next year for fruiting. We call thesequot;renewal spurs.quot;
High Density Espalier Gardener Grapes 022815 Update
This is the High Density Espalier Gardener And I am going to be showing you An update on my little MiniVineyard The last time I had shown this little area That I put together I had 10 different kinds of Grape vines Now I have 14 And on the last tutorial
I didn't say what the dimensions were On this one I would like for you to see How much I have planted in a small area I say High Density because I am putting a lot of different plants In a very small area And that will be true for all Of the tutorials that I post
Here at the end. By the way Its important to note that The Grapes come out at different times So that you don't have All of the Grapes all at once You have actually a nice long Season of Grapes
If you get a good mix Here on the end I have a Perlette And the dimensions are From this post To this post From the top all the way across It is about 10 feet
And from here, this post, All the way to the end Is about 20 feet I am going to be planting 3 more Grapes That I have on the end And they are potted still At that point
The total area will be 10 by maybe 25 or 26 feet I have the Perlette here I have a Cabernet And by the way Of the 14 I have a really nice mix Of table Grapes and wine Grapes And since I have no plans of making wine
High Density Espalier Gardener Grapes 101413
Ok this is the High Density Espalier Gardener and today I am showing you my High Densityplanting of my Grape Vines I have 10 Grape Vines here and they are allspaced 1.5 feet apart. I have a Perlette and a Cabernet and I planted these at differenttimes. First I planted 5 at 3 feet apart then I came back in and I planted others in betweenthose. This one is a Blueberry (Grape) apparently it has some sort of flavor of Blueberriesin it. This one is a Merlot. I have a Black Monukka, nice little grape. I have a Zinfandeland all of these have given grapes already except the Thompson's seedless, I am not surewhy it hasn't, but this one as you can see
has little grapes. Each one of these costsabout $25 at Home Depot or Lowes and I have pretty much made my money back on the grapesthat I have gotten back from these. This one is a Summer Muscat this one still hasn't givengrapes yet. Kind of a baby plant. Red Flame got a LOT of grapes from this one. As youcan see about 1.5 feet apart and I have a common row all along the bottom where I dugup the dirt and mixed compost in it plus fertilizer and I put a little rail (border) all aroundit so that when I water, the water stays in there and plus it keeps the grass out. Itis pretty much weed free. I have a Himrod, not sure if I said that already, and my Thompson'sSeedless. What I did was and you should be
able to see it on all of them, I am doingwhat is called Cordon Trimming (Pruning) and on the Thompson I've done a modified so thatIt has the long branches and supposedly these give grapes at the end of the branches insteadof closer toward the beginning on many of these other ones. I went over to Home Depotand I got these Green Posts. These are 8 ft. tall. Once they are driven into the groundthey're pretty steady and I got the wire, wrapped it around and it gets caught on theselittle things here so it won't fall down. Pretty steady holds up the plants quite nice.I should be getting a nice canopy over the top of them but even with the canopy it stillallows plenty of sunlight to go through. So
that is my little Mini Vineyard.