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;
Plant Vines in Your Garden
Who says that gardens only grow at ground leveléVines that are fast growing add vertical dimension to your landscape. Hi, I'm William Moss. I'm going to show you how to take your garden to new heights by choosing, planting, and growing versatile vines. Vines do things that other plants can't, like scale fences, gardenobjects and walls. This enables them to block wind, absorbsound, and provide privacy screening and shade. Vine grow by three methods: twining, tendriling and clinging. Twining vines suchas honeysuckle,
morning glory, and this wisteria,twist their stems around objects as they grow upward. These are fastgrowing vines that require sturdy poles pergolas or arbors to support them.Structures clad in twining vines look great as focal points of raised beds or guard entryways. Tendril vines like clematis, grapes and passion flowersreach out and grab chain link fence, latticework, and trellis as they grow up.
Plant them at the base of anything you wantto adorn with flowers and foliage. Clinging vines like English ivy, Virgina creeper and and trumpet vine, grow by using aerialroots and suction cups to cling to solid surfaces. English ivycreates beautiful walls of green and trumpet vine has red flowers whichinvite friendly bees and hummingbirds to the garden. Clinging vines can drape a wall or garagein lush foliage creating a green backdrop for other plants.Planting vines is
easy. You can either start from seed or a potted plant. Simply the follow the directions on the back of the packet or tag and make sure they have somethingto latch onto they start to grow. If you're new to growing vines, try growingannual vines like morning glories cardinal climber or pole beans on atrellis. You can also make an easy, inexpensive tipi structure out of wooden or bamboo poles simplytied it at the top. Kids love bean tipis make a greatheight out on a summer day.
Every landscape you use a vertical lift,ask your Lowe's garden center expert about which vines work best in your yard. With the leafy and flowering talents of annual and perennial vines, your garden can scale to new heights.