Sunday, February 10, 2013

Perfect Day for Muscadine Pruning

It's a beautiful Sunday here in South Carolina and we've been outside enjoying the weather. While Ashley worked on the garden irrigation, I pruned the muscadine vines.  Because I'm usually taking care of the baby, it's harder for me to help with heavier work outside. But since it was a nice day, I pulled out the outside mat and the little people enjoyed the day while I worked. 

We consulted several web sites to make sure we pruned correctly to help our vines grow and produce a lot of grapes this summer. February is the ideal time to prune muscadines. Here is one of the vines, pre-pruning. Notice all the branches shooting off all over the place. The main focus on pruning is the tendrils--they need to be trimmed back so that only 2-3 buds remain.

Ah, someone notices! He's perfecting the art of sitting up. So far, he's the biggest boy we've grown yet--at his 6 month check-up, he weighed 22 lbs and was 28 inches long (98th percentile for both). 

So here is our bunch of unruly vines, although Ashley did train them last year to have a single trunk and make the necessary T split into 2 cordons. These vines are fast growers and need pretty severe pruning to keep in shape for the years to come. 

Now here's the row, all pruned up. Naked, as Ashley put it, after I finished my work.

Here are the vines "bleeding." It's completely normal for the vines to drip sap for a few weeks after pruning. And no, they won't bleed to death.. 

 Little Man was impressed :o) 

I have always loved pruning, pulling weeds, getting things in order (as long as it's not hot and humid). Last winter I made some vine wreaths from some vines growing in our woods. This afternoon I wove these three with our muscadine vines. They're not perfect but it's neat knowing I made them with materials grown on our land. Now to figure out additional decorations for the wreaths.

Part of me feels like I should apologize for not posting in ages but you know how it happens. I really did want to post the past two months but just haven't been able to. Between my trusty Canon PowerShot going on the fritz to the holidays to more rounds of winter illnesses, I just haven't made the time to add anything here. I do hope to post regularly again--and with the spring coming, I know I'll be motivated. Today Ashley plowed up part of our garden to get ready for our spring planting--and we're excited to try new things and some of our past favorites. Happy February to you!

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