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
Growing Grapes for Wine
The way that Remember when we were standing out in the vineyard, we were looking at all these clusters and we were saying quot;this is too much fruit we're going to have to thin thisquot;é The person who created the system for figuring out how much that fruit was going to weigh when it was harvested long enough in advance, i.e. now,
so that we could do something about it to get the crop right, was Steve Price in the Hort department at OSU in the 80s who came up with this simple system that is used all around the world now to predict crop level. Well the system is You'd think that somebody would have
figured this out in advance of 1980s Corvallis, but nobody had. You basically wait until the sort of one to two week window when the grapevine shifts gears. It's been sort of building the cluster weight and growing all at the same time, so that the
are still growing and the clusters, the berries, the individual berries, are still getting bigger. And they'll continue to do that until sometime in late July basically, maybe early August. But then there's this window where the vine kind of changes what it's about to do, because from then on it's going to be all about
making sugar and growing the grape size. But for the two weeks, sometimes only a week and a half, the grapes don't change weight. It's a lag growth phase. And if you weigh the grapes at that point, and do a good job of estimating how many grapes are out there
and you double it, you basically know what the weight of that block that you just estimated. Obviously it depends on grape estimation skill and it depends on, to some extent, on the year because not every year does it double. There was a year a couple years ago where it didn't really double.
How to Grow Pomegranate
Hi I'm Tricia an organic gardener I groworganically for a healthy and safe food supply, for a clean and sustainable environment, for an enjoyable and rewarding experience. In english this is a pomegranate in Spanish it's called a granada and some people think that since its an ancient fruit the city of Granada in Spain may benamed after it.
It's a super food thats rich inantioxidants. Let's plant a pomegranate tree, I'll show you how. Pomegranate trees are very containeradaptable and there often used as landscape or patio treesbecause of their dark green foliage and beautiful orange flowers. Many varieties of pomegranates arehardy down to ten degrees fahrenheit and can be grown USDA zones 7b to12. Pomegranates are most productive inarid climates but they will grow in
tropical and subtopical climates likeFlorida and Hawaii. Ideally you'll plant a pomegranate in heavy loamy soil. However, they'll tolerate anything fromsandy, all the way to clay. I'm planting mine ina Peaceful Valley potting soil and I'm using a smart pot. Pomegranates need at least six hours of sunlighta day. Find a nice sunny spot in your yard to plant your tree.
These smart pots were originally designed for tree nurseries and they last about three to five years which isperfect 'cause that's about how often you should repot your trees. Plant pomegranates in late winter orearly spring just slide them out of the sleeve and your going to want to wash off about the first inch of soil. This helps the roots get
established. Plant the tree to about the same level it wasplanted in the nursery. Water the tree right after planting and it should be happy in this pot for about three to five years after that I'll repot it. I'm going to train my pomegranate as a small tree. to train as a tree snip off any branchesthat come off the tree lower than one foot. Scaffolding branches are the big mainbranches of the tree like these.
Ideally you want five to seven symmetricallyplaced scaffolding branches. This will help your tree form a strongcompact structure. If your tree doesn't have these nicescaffolding branches you want to do a heading cut at about two to two anda half feet. Next winter i'm going to head back thesescaffolding branches by about threefifths. If you live in the coldest of pomegranategrowing zones,