Prairie Yard Garden Growing Grapes
(gentle music) Prairie Yard Garden is a production of the University of Minnesota Morris in cooperation with Pioneer Public Television. Closed captioning is provided by Mark and Margaret YackelJuleen in honor of Shalom Hill Farm, a nonprofit rural education retreat center in a beautiful
prairie setting near Windom in southwestern Minnesota. Shalom Hill Farm, shalomhill Did you hear that a new crop is appearing on the prairieé Growing grapes has created an interest among a few individuals who like the challenge of adapting it to our region. Join me on Prairie Yard Garden as we visit a vineyard to learn about the process and challenges
of growing grapes on the prairie. (soft lighthearted music) A new crop has appeared on the prairie: growing grapes And today I have Florian Ledermann with me who's been involved with the process for the last four to five years. Florian welcome to the show and tell me, how did you get interested in growing grapesé ^We got interested actually at the
University of Morris's Horticultural Night. We sat down in a tent and learned that the university just released four new varieties of grapes that are actually coldhardy. And before that, I always kind of figured grapes were the crop that just kind of came up and never really bore and died every winter and died back. So that's what spiked our interest.
And so that very nextspring, we bought five. And they survived and I did a little more research and decided to go with an acre. And a year later, another acre so we ended up with 1,350 vines as a result of that little adventure in Morris. Larry That's interesting. 1,300 vines, how long does it take you
to put all those in the groundé Florian We used family labor. (Florian laughs) So we had, it took us, I think probably when we were planting, it took us about threedays to put one acre in. That would be for the planting. The posts and the trellis system and everything
Climbing Hydrangea The Cadillac of the Vines
Vines are great vertical accents for the garden, not only adding color, texture, and form, but in many cases flowers. Here is what's considered to be, quote unquote, the quot;cadillac of the vinesquot;, the Climbing Hydrangea. It's really a glorious vine because of the fact that it has outstanding clean, glossy green foliage. In the wintertime when the leaves aren't on the plant, the bark on these stems is kind of a flaking, peeling, rustic orange looking, which is quite attractive. And then somewhere around late May, early June it has these large flowers, which tend to cover the plant. It's a rather vigorous plant.
Now the thing about Climbing Hydrangea is number 1, it needs something to climb on. Because of the fact that it climbs by aerial roots it needs a rough textured surface to do so. So rough textured lumber, stone, masonry, is preferred as opposed to like say a cyclone fence, or a slick siding, like vinyl or something like that. That will get you this nice covering right here. The other thing about to note about Climbing Hydrangea is that they tend to do best in a little bit of filtered light. Full shade, they don't flower well. Give it some light and they flower well. That's why you sometimes see, especially on a vine like this, that part of the vine is not flowering as much as this part which tends to get more western sun.
And the third thing I can mention about Climbing Hydrangea is that they're slow to start, but once they start growing, they grow extremely fast, and they're sometimes fickle as to when they're going to flower. This plant was in the ground probably eight or ten years before it decided to flower sparingly, and from then on it has started to flower more and more. So if you have this vine and it's not flowering, don't become impatient.
How to Grow Kiwi
Hi, I'm Tricia, an organic gardener. Today I'm going to plant a kiwi vine. Kiwis are originally from Asia, but did you know that you can plant one right here in North America in your backyardé One kiwi vine will produce 50 100 pounds of fruit! Site selection is important. You want to put kiwis in full sun, but you don't want to plant them in any kind of cold microclimate, because even though they're hardy down to zone 4, which is about 30 degrees below zero, they can get frost damage after they break dormancy.
They must have well drained soil. Dig a hole the same size as the root system. So we're going to put the kiwi in the hole and we don't wanna add any fertilizer. These roots can easily be burned bynitrogen. Plant the kiwi to the same level it was planted in the nursery. Don't mound up the the soil around the trunk, because that can kill the vine. Kiwis are vines and they're trained and prunedlike the Muscadine grapes, and if you're only planting one like I am,make sure it's self pollinating.
Pergolas, or a Tbar trellis, are the twomost popular ways of trellising kiwis, but feel free to experiment. The only requirement is that you're ableto get to them to prune easily. Prune the vine back to a single cane andthat's going to be our trunk. Like a grape vine, a kiwi vine should betrained with a nice straight trunk. I'm putting in this bamboo stake to helptrain my little vine. Don't allow your kiwi to wrap around thestake however. Make sure and give your kiwi fruit a lot of water. I'm installing this Olson sprinkler, which works great.
Your hardy kiwi vine will produce fuzzless fruit a little smaller than what you find in the grocery store, and if you need to protect it from frost after it breaks dormancy, try these Agribon frost blanketsand Grow Organic for Life!.