Wine Grape Plants

By | December 10, 2016

Home Vineyard Growing Wine Grapes at Home

Hello and welcome to my home vineyard Let’s get a lay of the land. As you can see this is just a simple side yard it’s got about 55 feet of space long twentysix feet of space wide we elected to go with twenty twofoot long rows northsouth facing uh. the rows are spaced about five feet apart to give us ample space for the vines to grow.

And for us to manage and walk through we are planting about four plants per row to give it plenty of space to spread out and grow for the rows, we used uh. just simple fence posts these are eightfoot fence post sunk about three feet deep we tried to go about two feet deep but it wasn’t uh. it just simply wasn’t stable enough so we went that extra foot for stability.

The wire is fourteen gauge wire uh. we elected to go with the vertical trellising partly because it was easier and partly because uh. the north south facing rows, it allow it to get sun at all hours of the day uh. we have a drip irrigation lines ran along the bottom we will be using half gallon per hour drips two per plant that allows us to adjust the water.

Water flow and manage the irrigation a little easier than if we used a heavier flow we’ll actually be planting syrah grapes because we tend to be in a warmer, drier climate during the summer doing something like pinot noir would require greater cooler temperatures. that sort of thing that’s our vineyard. We’ll be planting the grapes next week and we’ll come back then.

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.

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