The CBMGA participation in the Earth-Kind® grape trials started with the planting of nine varieties of grapes (Triumph, Tara, Nesbitt, Miss Blanc, Lomanto, Lake Emerald, Herbemont, Southern Home, and Champanel. Dr. Justin Scheiner is the lead researcher on the EarthKind® grape trials. CBMGA was a participant in Dr. George’s EarthKind® Rose trials, so it seemed a natural fit for CBMGA to be included in the EarthKind® grape trials. CBMGA’s locations are the first EarthKind® grape trials in the nation. For more information on the research click Earth-Kind® Grape Trials (opens in a new tab).
The east Texas trials include two Master Gardener’s properties in Titus County and one other property in Camp county. Each property was selected based on specific soil characteristics by Dr. Scheiner and each includes all ten varieties of grapes. The two CBMGA members whose properties were selected for the trial are Dale Vanhoose and Rhonda Lesher. The images of the CBMGA grape trials are from Mark and Rhonda Lesher’s property.
For more information on the Earth-Kind® landscaping method go to Earth-Kind® Landscaping.
The photos in the slideshow were taken by Hudson Old of East Texas Journal and graciously shared with CBMGA for our web page. We wish to sincerely thank Hudson and East Texas Journal for taking the time to take the photos, processing and editing them and then sharing with CBMGA.
Some of the grapes in our grape trial
|Miss Blanc||Tara||Southern Home|
The goal of this research study is to identify grape cultivars for homeowner use that are aesthetically
pleasing, produce high-quality fruit for fresh eating, making jelly or wine, are easy to maintain,
conserve water, and provide the ultimate in research-based environmental protection.
The purpose of a buffer plant is to preclude having experimental vines on the ends of the rows where they might skew the results by receiving more sunlight and air movement than do the other experimental vines. A buffer vine should be planted at the beginning and end of each row. Any experimental cultivar under study may be used as a buffer. No data is collected on buffer vines.
The suggested spacing is to have the vines 8 ft. apart on centers within the row, with the rows 10 ft. apart on centers. This spacing provides adequate room between vines and rows to accommodate vigorous vine growth without overcrowding.
The site selected needs 8 hours or more of full, direct sun each day, and good air movement over and through the vine canopies. Avoid planting in low areas of the field as that is where the cold air will settle and cause unnecessary frost and freeze damage, and do not plant in waterlogged soils.
Once the vines are established (which typically takes 12 months), our goal is to document excellent plant performance with a 70% reduction in irrigation, as compared to the average homeowner using overhead sprinklers. To achieve this tremendous water savings, it is imperative that drip irrigation is utilized in this study.
The specific design of the drip irrigation system is flexible. At least one ½ gallon per hour or 1 gallon per hour emitter per vine is recommended. Place drip tubing directly onto the soil surface, then apply mulch to cover the soil surface as well as the irrigation tubing.
Frequency of irrigation once plants are established is once every two months as needed.
The suggested timeline for establishment of the study is as follows:
Spring to Fall 2014: Soil testing, site preparation, trellis installation
Fall 2014 to Spring 2015: Planting, irrigation system installation, mulching
Summer to Fall 2015: Grapevine training (once a month or as needed)
Late Winter 2016: Pruning
Spring to Fall 2016: Grapevine training (as needed)
Late Winter 2017: Pruning
Summer 2017 – Harvest
Duration of Study
The duration of this study is 5 years from planting. Grapevines typically produce a crop in the third year after planting, and at least two years of fruit production are required for a thorough evaluation.
For more information on the research click Earth-Kind® Grape Trials (opens in a new tab).