I love tait moring’s sense of gardening style. thanks so much for opening your gates for us. Right now we’re going to talk about growing grapes. One of the hottest topics here in Texas because of all the wineries. We have Jim Kamas with us. It’s great to have you back on the program. Welcome. Thanks, Tom, I appreciate it.
Welcome back to central texas gardener. You’ve just published a great new book Growing Grapes in Texas. Congratulations on that! Thanks a lot. It took a couple years to get done, but I’m I’m pretty happy with it. Well you know, like I said, it’s a hot topic. A lot of people are very interested in growing grapes.
In their backyard. maybe one of those famous table grapes, like concord or something like that. Well Concord is pretty tough to grow here. Concord likes acid soils which we don’t have. And it’s much more adapted a cooler climates. If you wanted to grow Fredonia or some of the other lebrusca types, they’ll work, but Concord is a pretty tough one to grow here. Ok, well your book is filled with tips about varieties and things like that.
Let’s focus on that home grower. you know , I know for example I go out to hill country every now and again to go to Fredericksburg, places around there. And I see wineries springing up like mushrooms now. And it kinda makes me wanna grow grapes here in town. What does a home gardner need to know to get started? Well if you’re a homeowner and you want to grow enough vines to produce a little bit of wine.
My advice is plant what you like. if you’re planting a commercial vineyards we’re going to have a very different discussion. But if you like Merlot, plant Merlot. If you like Syrah, plant Syrah. For smallscale, you have no big economic investment, so plant what you like and go with that.
Yeah okay, that makes sense. In terms of the space needs, the sun, all those kinds of things, grapes are rather particular and disease prone. Yes. So let’s give people an idea of what the basics are that they would need to have any kind of success. Sure. Commercially our rows are spaced nine to ten feet apart, but in the backyard if you.
Are maintaining the row centers with a lawnmower or something, you can place the rows as close as six feet apart. And you can also go as tight as five to six feet between vines. You can put a lot of vines in a relatively small space. So small space is OK. When we talk about the rows, we are talking about.
Providing structures on which the the vines can grow and support themselves. Yes, a lot of times in California you’ll see these free standing vines that are called head pruned vines. They don’t do very well here because we need to keep our vines up off the ground because it rains here during the summer and they are very disease prone as you mentioned.
Growing Aloe Vera Fruit Trees Grapes and Vegetables in the Nevada Desert
This is john kohler with growingyourgreens on another field trip. yes, another subscriber visit, actually these aren’t subscribers, well these are subscribers and friends of mine. We’re out her inMesquite,Nevada, and going to check out what they’re growing, and I also got them a gift. This is the other one I brought too in mycarryon luggage, took a lot of space. I got one other gift for them too. Loquats, so these are fresh harvested loquats from California, before I took off and I know they love all kinds.
Of fruit, so i’m bringing them some fresh loquats from california. So let’s go in and check out what they got growing.So it just looks like in their front yard here they have a couple stone fruit trees as well as a fig tree. So we’re here in Ronnie and Minh’s backyard. One of the things that immediately popped out at me was how many aloe vera plants they have growing. I love aloe vera and I’m growing the Japanese aloe, but they’re growing the king aloe right here. It’s a succulent it.
Grows really well in the dessert and it’s also edible. Many people don’t know that it’s edible. You could cut it and get the juice and squeeze out the juice on sunburns and cuts and things like that, but it’s also really good to take internally. It’s supposed to be really healing and good for you. So Ronnie why don’t you tell me how you guys use this aloe and in what kind of recipes you use in it. I mean, do you just eat the leaves whole? Or do you cut them up and take or what do you do?.
Minh: we cut them. ronnie: well minh will come out and she’ll cut off a leaf, a nice thick one and then she’ll peel it with her little Vietnamese peeling tool and then she’ll take the inside, wash it off, slice it up, put it in a blender with some orange juice and then from there, that’s basically it. When you whip it up it’ll come out like an Orange Julius, you’ll have a little bit of fuzzy and it’s a great drink and you can add some sweetener there if you’re a person that likes sweetener, you can add.
Minh: sweetener and ronnie: a mint, almost anything that you wanted to that. But basically it’s just orange juice and aloe vera. I tell you Minh’s been drinking this all her life but when she introduced it to me John, one thing that I found immediately was this is one of those things when you drink it you feel it right away. You can feel something is happening in your stomach and then later on in your body because this stuff goes to work, and you can feel it, it’s powerful.The other thing about it is it’s a beautiful plant.
John: it is. ronnie: right now it doesn’t have its stalk and it’s flower, but these things will grow beautiful flowers. So you get to look at it, it’s medicinal. Out in the dessert this is almost like a staple because if you have any kind of a skin irritation, a bug bite, or a sun burn, you rub the, you break it off and rub the gel right on your skin and it’s the same stuff that you buy in all these packages. But the thing is when you buy something in a package it’ll be telling you it’s made with.
Aloe vera and it is, but usually it’ll be like five percent or three percent aloe vera. When you put the real thing on a cut or a burn, it works, it really has some powerful stuff in there. John: Aloe vera for the teeth, oh wow. Ronnie: For the gums. John: For the gums? Ronnie: Actually I researched that because it’s the same thing, it’s antibacterial, that’s why they use it on wounds and things like that. So when you do put it on your gums it’s.
Great if you have any kind of a gum disease or close to it. John: Oh wow, I didn’t know that. Ronnie: Yeah, it’s very good. This is one of those plants that really requires, basically nothing. John: No care? Ronnie: No care. John: This is like one of the plants you plant and ignore and then it’s going to do better than if you water it because if you water it you’re going to over water it and it doesn’t.