Thursday, July 7, 2011

Improper Grapes

Keep in mind this picture is from last year.

 I wish I could show you how to do this all proper like but alas, I'm ignorant about grapes except that I really like them. I've devices a poor management system because of that ignorance and since hardly anyone grow anything around here, I don't know who to ask. I've read articles but I still can't figure the thing out. Especially since different kinds of grapes need to be trimmed differently. For once I'd just like some knowledgeable person to show me how to trim my concord grapes. Ding dong me thought  that spending years in ignorance over four grape plants wasn't enough and I bought two more plants last week. This time eating grapes.

I have muddle along and figured out how to get larger grapes, beyond fertilizing them. I have to trim my grapes so the sun can shine on them.  It might be a du...h for some of you but keep in mind, I've only seen grape vines perfectly pruned, not in a jumbled mess like mine and not to get them that way. Consequently, I've no idea how to get from here to there. 
I did wack away at the vines today. If you look real carefully, you might see tiny grapes. Where the sun is shining on clusters, they are much large and so I trimmed back leaves and vines. The leaves to let in sunshine and the vines to prevent the nutrients from going to extra foliage instead of the grapes.

 Now if you live in a warmer climate, I'm sure you can grow far more grapes on a plant than I can and your grapes drape lovingly over the fence but here the growing season is very short and the amount of nutrients in our soil scant. I did get enough grapes last year to make three batches of grape jelly but if anyone who is reading this can come and give me a lesson on how to trim my grapes to look like a proper grape vine, I'd be so..... in your debt.

Just e-mail me at if your volunteering and we'll set up a time. And if there is something we can trade with, such as my showing you how to do something, I'd be glad to.

These  four  Concord grapes plants came without a main stem just a passel of tentacles poking up from the roots. Do I wrap them around each other and try and get them to meld into one big base or do I cut everything back but one stem? Which stem do I keep, for each year some of the grape dies and some lives on to produce the next year. Which does which and how can you tell them apart. That is why Miss Ignorance here waits until now to trim the dead growth. It's pretty easy to tell at this point dead as a door nail and green with life.   
Now this is the part where you say, "Oh you poor soul. You have such a big garden to take care of." Drats, I can just hear you saying the same thing as my husband who reminds me that I did it to myself. Growing a garden by our house requires growing on top of the native soil and not in it. Hence, the two stock truck loads of manure I wheel barrowed on this year alone. I've still a little left to put on here and there around plants. That's what I was doing part of yesterday, putting wood shaving from one of the goat's sheds around the grapes along with horse manure plus I started to spread it around the three apple trees.

Seriously, how does one ever keep up. Having less my husband says. But.... But... I tell him what will we eat when food prices hike to double what they are now?

That is what they say will happen in a few years. I figure if I can learn to grow much of what we eat now, our income will hopefully stretch.  Am I just a panicky ninny and beating myself up for nothing or is our economy going to go further down hill? I guess that is the real question.
Now I must confess because I'm afraid I've misled you. Diane thought it was really cute how the kids didn't want to get their feet wet. Hm.... well it wasn't that at all. I've thistle in about half of my lawn and the kids didn't want to step on them. The youngest decided that her rain boots were just the ticket. The oldest saw the youngest and thought it was a dandy idea and put on her chore boots. The middle grand daughter wore her flip flops and Grandma just felt guilty for not get the cussed things killed. 

The vinegar trick worked great for a short time but they came back since I didn't stay at them. I've a new organic kind of weed killer. We'll see how it works after I get my flower and herb garden weeded tomorrow. So much to do so little time and energy.

Got to go and get the house cleaned up a bit. The poor thing is neglected for all the outside chores that need done.

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