Caring for Young Grape Vines
My name is David Handley, I’m with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, and we’re here to talk about how to prune and train a young grapevine. This is a vine that was planted last spring. We got it from a dormant plant, or rooted cutting, and you can see the original part of the planting right here. This is what we got from the nursery, with a good root system under it. We planted it, and we had a bud break and some vine growth. This is last year’s growth right here. This was a green shoot. Typically, you may get more than one shoot developing. You may have several buds on here. We want to prune this back to one strong vine, your strongest one. We’re going to arrange for that to be tied.
Up to a trellis, because this particular vine is what’s going to become our permanent trunk, or the permanent part of the plant that’s going to be with us for the life of the planting. We want to make sure it’s the strongest of the vines that we can choose from. Any other one that developed that’s very weak, we can just cut that out, select our best one. The time of year to make these cuts are when the canes are dormant, and this is going to be really any time after the new year, until they bud out in late March, early April. We hope in the first year that we get enough good growth that we can tie it to the lower trellis wire. Typically here in Maine, we’re going to be.
Pruning to either a four arm kniffin training system, or an umbrella kniffin training system. Those trellises consist of two wires, one set at about two and a half feet, and a second wire set at about five feet. We hope in the first year that we’re going to get enough good growth to reach at least the bottom wire, but in order to make sure it’s growing straight, you can see we supported this with a small bamboo pole. Any kind of planting stake will work, and we just tie that vine up as it grows, rather than let it grow along the ground where it can get rot problems, and not develop a nice straight growth like we want. We tie it up, just like you’d tie up a beef steak tomato, get the.
Growth that you want. As I said, we’ve got pretty good buds here, reaching up to the first wire. You can see that I actually make it to the top wire, but you can see the growth up here is very scrawny and spindly, and isn’t really going to lead to a good, strong trunk. I’d rather actually start new growth for reaching to this top wire for next year. What that means is that I’m actually going to cut this off here, rather low, to try to get this bud here to break and give me a much stronger shoot to develop my trunk to the top wire next year. I can just take that there, and then, instead of using the bamboo pole this year, I can just tie it to the wire.
This bud will hopefully break, and give me a good, strong shoot, that I’m going to reach the second wire next year. Of course, these buds lower down will also break, and if this one happens to be weak, I may select one of these. But, if this bud does turn out to be a strong shoot, I’ll be cutting these off next winter and getting my single trunk back up to the top wire. Next year, when this does reach the top wire, eventually what we’ll be doing is taking one year old cane, and either draping it over this top wire and connecting it to the bottom wire in an umbrella kniffin, or we’ll be taking one cane at the top wire on each side, and one cane at the bottom wire on each side,.
To create four arms of one year old growth, for a four\uc0\u8209 arm kniffin system. Both systems work pretty well for concrete type grapes here in a cold climate like Maine.
The California Garden in April Grape Plant Reveal
April is the month of birds singing early spring harvests and a surprise plant reveal which is growing strong so as usual we will begin with the tour of the garden in this monthly series the April garden looks alive these are the red onion sets that we planted back in December and they are growing very nicely they should be ready for harvest by around the end of summer and and just next to add the onions bed we sowed the okra seeds in the beginning of April and as you can see here they’ve already sprouted.
I have sowed the okra seeds a lot closer than what I did last year I am gonna see how that works out moving ahead to our side bed it has all the nice leafy greens kale and Swiss chard growing very well and then on toward our tomato jungle this month the tomato plants have grown extremely well as you can see this is the stage where the plants have grown a lot of leaves and have now started to flower and produce fruits like you see.
Here I’m growing several different types of tomatoes this seasonif you’ve seen my December tutorial I have listed out all the tomato varieties that have been growing you can see your some more cherry tomatoes being formed so this is the optimum weather for tomatoes to start setting fruit you can see this beans plant this is a pole bean called the hyacinth Bean which is an interesting variety of Bean and this is the garlic and onion bed and you can see somebody potato plants actually growing out of the compost that I added to this bed and this bed also had a lot of carrots that.
We just harvested and I’ll show you that very soon these are some bush bean plants as soon as these are done I will grow some cucumbers there and you can see here these corn seedlings that have emerged from this bed this is a new bed that we just created and this bed next to that one is the one where we have all our peppers and eggplants I’m growing 2 varieties of eggplants this year and just the poblano peppers so that’s all that we have om the Garden as of April now let’s get down to the details of what exactly happened in April now let’s look at some of the bed preparations that we did for the summer.
Vegetables now I toped of all the raised beds using some organic planting soil now you can check your local garden center for some good deals on organic potting soil this one is from Costco if you have a Costco near your home this is a excellent planting soil mix its organic it has a lot of good organic matter and what I’m gonna do is just empty this bag onto this raised bed and then try to break down all the pieces now let’s look at what exactly this contains if you look at the ingredients it has a lot of good organic matter and it also has a lot of.
Nutritional value as listed on the back so you just break down all the mix into the raised beds and then you can mix it very well now I’ve advised a lot of my fellow gardeners to make sure that they have their raised beds ready well in advance so if you’re adding new soil to your raised beds I would suggest wait for at least two weeks because it takes a little bit of time for the organic matter in the soil to break down so if you’re doing this early the earlier you do the better it is if you’re starting your raised bed like.
Absolutely new I would say just wait for about two months I already have a lot of soil and my raised bed so I gave it about two weeks so after two weeks this mis is ready for planting and as you can see all you need to do is just mix it well with the soil and level it and this is the bed that I planted my eggplants and peppers and I mixed a lot of compost in this bed you can see some leaves even from here now as far as the harvest goes, spring is a great time April has a lot of strawberries growing as you can see here very delicious if you grow strawberries at home you’ll realize they are absolutely delicious cabbages.