In this episode, Beverly Welch is joined by Angela Chandler from the Garden Academy. Angela teaches us how to plant a grapevine in our garden!

– [Beverly] Hi, I’m Beverly Welch. We’re here at the Arbor Gate today with Angela Chandler from The Garden Academy. –

[Angela] Hi, Beverly.

– And if you’re a follower of our YouTube, which I hope you are, you know what great fans Ann, Angela, and I are of herbs and edibles.

– Oh, absolutely. It’s a basic part of our gardening.

– Yes, and so three to me of the easiest fruits to grow are figs, blackberries, and grapes.

– They really are because they require minimal care.

– Right, and, you know, it’s a vertical.

– Right, it gives you space in the garden.

– So, sometimes people complain they run out of space. So, this is one we can train easily up on a trellis or an arbor.

– Yeah, and when you train one on an arbor, then you get the aesthetic, you know, addition to your garden, too, because they’re awfully pretty.

– Oh, they’re beautiful. Now, one in particular, you know, we haven’t ever been known to be able to grow especially wonderful table grapes, but there is a new introduction to us called Victoria Red.

– Yes, and everybody’s excited about it. You know, muscadines have been sort of the staple grape for the Gulf Coast, and there’s a handful of table grapes that we can grow with success. But Victoria Red has kind of taken the South Texas by storm, so we’re kind of excited to have it.

– I know I’m anxious to get one here in the garden.

– Mm-hmm. Me, too.

– All right. So now we’re going to plant it along this edge of the garden box so we can continue to plant other vegetables and herbs with it as well.

– We can and that way it’ll be easily accessible from outside the box so that we don’t compress our soil.

– Perfect, perfect. So, any special tips other than very well-draining soil for grapes.

– Grapes do need very well-draining soil, and that’s nice if they have a soil that has a lot of pore spaces in them, and of course the Arbor Gate Soil Complete does, so that’s a great way to plant them.

– And then we also want to…they’re not super heavy feeders like other fruits can be.

– No.

– How often would you say to put the blend on them?

– I say once a quarter is good. You know, your major feeding in early spring and then after that, they’re kind of okay with light feedings after that.

– So now how are we going to prepare this guy to get it in the ground?

– Well, I think I’m going to leave it on the trellis ’till we do get it planted just so that it doesn’t flop around and we don’t break anything. But, we’ve already prepared our hole. This soil is in really good shape.

– Okay, I’m going to put just a bit of blend in the bottom…

– Right, stir it up.

– …and stir it up a bit with our soil.

– Right, and the nice thing about organic fertilizers is that they’re non-burning, and this one’s in a container in its own soil and ready to take off.

– Now, do we want to break up this root ball like we do normal?

– We want to look a little bit, and it is a little tight. So, we can break it up by hand or we can simply just cut through it… in three or four places around the root ball. And what we’re looking to do here is interrupt… Now that one needs to be snipped. We want to interrupt the circular growth so that it doesn’t continue to strangle itself once it gets in the soil because they can.

– We want them to spread their roots and grow.

– Right, and you can do this with a sharp kitchen knife, a pocket knife, you know, whatever just to interrupt that flow.

– Okay. Now, we’re ready to go in the ground.

– We’re ready to go in the ground. Okay, so we know that we’re going to keep this one to train so we can pull our soil in, and you want to fill slowly. This soil is very soft so it breaks up well. If you’re planting in clay gumbo, you’re going to want to break the clods up and fill a little at a time so that you’re sure that you’re not leaving any big air holes, because when roots hit those air pockets, the tips of the roots are going to die off.

– Now, do we want to put just a little bit around the outside?

– We can. We don’t want to create…

– Just work it.

– …too much of it. Yeah.

– Just work it a little bit.

– Work it in. And that way, irrigation and rain will give it a little bit of a kickstart. And they work with nature. They’re kind of temperature-sensitive and moisture-sensitive, so it’s not going to continuously hit that plant until the plant really needs the nutrients.

– Perfect. Okay, so now we have all these ties we need to get off here. Now why are we removing it from this trellis?

– Well, these trellises that they’re grown on and shipped on are to protect the vine during that transportation…

– During transport, okay.

– …[crosstalk] early time, but it’s really not an adequate trellis to grow this one. Oops, I found another one.

– All right, so we’ve got that removed.

– So we want to give it something a little better. And for the first year, all we really want to do is train it up.

– All right. So we’ve got our stake here.

– Oops, you’ve got it.

– And where would you like me to place it?

– Just close enough behind it that we can train this stem to it… and pretty firmly. There we go. Okay, so now we want to take a look at this. And what we’re really looking for the first year is to develop this single stem, and we want to top it off at about four feet.

We want to find two opposite-facing buds and trim right above those buds. Then, I’m also going to come down here and trim off all this side growth… and even this portion down here because we really want this one single stem trained.

– All right, and how long will we leave it on this single stake?

– Actually till next year. And next spring, we’ll decide on an appropriate trellis for this so that we can train the cordon arms. These two buds will end up becoming the right cordon and the left cordon. So, remember we always tie it to the stake first.

– You know, I love that tip.

– That way, it stays in place without us having to girdle the plant.

– And that is true with any vine plant.

– Anything that you’re going to tie. And, we want to train it. This’ll eventually become a trunk that really has a pretty good size to it, so straight as possible is where we want it to hit. ♪ [music] ♪- So this year we’re going to just basically take care of the vine.

– We are.

– We’re going to feed it, keep it adequately watered and again keep it tied up the stem as it grows.

– We are, and we’re going to allow some leaves to form on this, because that’s solar energy for the plant, but we’ll remove most of them next year and concentrate on these cordon arms. Now if these cordon arms push real well, we may even get [crosstalk] this…

– We may do it this year.

– …trellis this year.

– Okay, perfect. I think, like you said earlier, it’s about two years old so it may…

– It is. These are big, healthy vines.

– …yeah, take off on us really well. And, you know, it’s a Texas superstar…

– It is a Texas superstar.

– …so of course it’s going to grow. You know, one thing, too, we always like to play with is the companion planting aspect. And, one of the best companions for grapes are roses.

– That’s just wonderful.

– And if you’ve ever visited vineyards, oftentimes you’ll see the roses at the end of the lines or the rows of the grapes. And that is to help detect any fungal diseases that might be in the area. Plus, it’s a great draw for the honeybees.

– That’s wonderful.

– So I picked out one called Lemon Fizz to plant here at the back of the box. It’s an open-faced, beautifully bright, sunny yellow one, and a good bloomer through the winter, so I always like to have those flowers available for them in the cool months.

– That’s wonderful, Beverly.

– So this is great. I’m so excited to finally be able to grow a good table grape here in Houston.

– I’m very excited. I can’t wait till it starts pushing, and we get it on a permanent trellis. And we’ll be back to talk about how to do its pruning in the future.

– And we’re going to explain more about why we have paper sacks.

– We have paper sacks.

– Yes.

– More to come.

– Yes. Thanks, Angela.