Grapes are one of the most common cultivated plants on earth. Today, more than 20 thousand varieties are officially registered, of which more than 3 thousand are grown in the territory of the former USSR. Most of these varieties are not hardy enough and are not able to survive the winter without shelter. In the spring, it is important not to forget to open the overwintered vine in time.
Grapes are not as greenhouse plant as they seem at first glance. It is able to withstand short-term frosts down to -4 ° C. So the ice on the puddles is not a reason to postpone the cleaning of the winter shelter for the next weekend until a warmer time. It is necessary to open the grapes when daytime temperatures reach positive values, and night frosts do not reach -4 ° C. At the same time, the snow on the site should already completely melt.
Also pay attention to soil moisture. The soil should dry out. Therefore, many gardeners temporarily remove the shelter on warm sunny days to ventilate the vine. This preventive measure helps to reduce the likelihood of fungal diseases.
A common mistake our gardeners make is that they believe that the main danger for thermophilic grapes is freezing. Therefore, novice growers try to open the vine as late as possible. But the plant will not be stopped by the lack of light, and at a temperature of + 10 ° C, even covered shoots will surely start to grow. The problem will be revealed when you do open the grapes. Before you appear weak, pale, young stems devoid of chlorophyll. Such shoots are called leaded. If left unprotected in direct sunlight, they will be burned and most likely to die. If the seedling had such shoots, they would have to be removed. To prevent this from happening, you will have to build a temporary shelter that creates sufficient shade and remove it for an hour a day, thus allowing the plant to gradually get used to the sunlight. The light initiates the formation of chlorophyll, and the shoots will gradually turn green.
Chlorophyll-free grape shoots are often unviable
After the winter shelter is removed, it is necessary to treat the vine with fungicides in order to get rid of pathogenic fungi, which also wintered comfortably under the shelter. It is microscopic fungi that cause the most common diseases of mildew and oidium grapes. Today, on store shelves, you will find a huge assortment of specialized preparations, but copper sulfate, which has been proven for decades, remains the most popular prophylactic agent.
Do not tie up vines right after you have removed your winter shelter. Let the plant recover a little. Just spread the shoots, spread them on a trellis, and let them ventilate like this for three days. Spring garter of grapes is also called dry, as woody, not green shoots are tied.
Until you tied up the grapes, you can check how it overwintered. To do this, cut a small piece of the shoot with a pruner. The cut should have a healthy light green color. Also inspect the buds, move the scales apart under them there should be live green rudiments.
The grapes are traditionally tied up on a trellis, which consists of two two-meter pillars dug in at a distance of three meters, between which a wire is stretched. The first wire is pulled at a height of 40 cm, the subsequent ones at the same distance from each other. Dry perennial sleeves need to be tied on the first tier with a fan. The rest of the shoots are fixed on the second wire at an angle of 45-60 degrees relative to the ground. It is very important that the shoots are not tied vertically. In this case, only the upper 2-3 buds will develop, and the rest will grow weakly or will not wake up at all. It is most convenient to tie up the shoots with any soft wire. Later, when the buds begin to grow, young green shoots are tied vertically to higher tiers.
In the spring, the sleeves are tied to the first tier, and the shoots to the second
Our country is located in four climatic zones, and therefore it is impossible to determine a single date for the disclosure of grapes. In the table below, you will find the optimal date for getting rid of the winter shelter for your region.
In our country, even real wild grapes grow. In the Far East, there is a relict Amur grape (Vitis amurensis). Although not an ancestor of cultivars, this species is often used for landscaping, even in the more rugged northern regions.
Depending on the climatic zone and the microclimate in your garden plot, the optimal date for spring opening of grapes varies from early April to mid-May. Snow melting in the garden is a prerequisite and the most obvious sign that it is time to clean up the winter shelter.
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After you have processed the grapes before the shelter, you can start directly to work. It is imperative to cover hybrids, young seedlings and unstable varieties. Hiding methods for grapes depend on terrain, weather and the availability of certain material. Each gardener decides for himself how to carry out this procedure more reliably and better.
There are the following methods of sheltering grapes for the winter:
Let's analyze each method separately and in more detail. We will also describe how to properly insulate the grapes.
Using this method, it is possible without unnecessary hassle and reliably to cover low young seedlings. If you live in Belarus, in the south of Russia or Ukraine, then even an adult plant can be covered with hilling, without removing the branches from the trunk.
The main advantage of this method is that it is neither laborious nor costly. You just need to fill with a hoe a hill of earth with a height of at least 10 cm and no more than 25 cm.
The disadvantage is that only the roots are hidden. Buds and branches remain unprotected in the event of a sudden cold snap. However, this rarely happens in warm climates.
This is perhaps the best method for hiding vines. It consists in warming the bunches of the vine with heat-insulating and moisture-proof layers. Wood shavings, spruce litter, pine spruce branches, etc. are suitable as insulation. For waterproofing, you need to take an opaque film, that is, old pieces of linoleum, roofing material, rubber will come off.
Lay the prepared vines along the row and cover with a thick layer of insulation and cover with waterproofing material on top. Sprinkle the film around the edges with earth or press down with bricks. Do not forget to leave air vents, that is, open parts of the shelter. This will ventilate the shelter and prevent condensation from building up.
The advantages of such a shelter are reliable protection from low temperatures. You can also cover large areas of the vineyard in a similar way. The only drawback is that some financial investment is required.
You can cover grapes for the winter using the semi-shelter method. In this case, not only the roots are covered, but also the base of the bush, part of the trunk and part of the shoots. For shelter, materials such as agrofibre, dense fabric, leaves or straw are suitable. A leafy layer or straw is poured near the base of the plant, and the covering fabric must be tied with twine so that it is not blown away by the wind.
The semi-shelter is suitable for mixed grape varieties. Their tops are frost-resistant, while the base and roots are more sensitive to cold weather.
This method involves removing the branches of the plant from the support, processing and fully covering the grapes completely. It is allowed to take any material for shelter.
Cover the bushes with an old, unnecessary blanket made of natural fabric and cover with plastic on top so that moisture cannot get inside. Keep in mind that the film should not cover the kidneys, otherwise they can rot.
Press the covered branches to the ground with iron arcs and sprinkle with sawdust, dry grass or fallen leaves. It is enough to cover frost-resistant varieties with cut cardboard boxes or slate. If your region has a little snowy winter with sharp temperature changes, then make the top layer about 30 cm high.If the winter is warm, 10 cm will be enough.
Complete shelter for the grapes gives 100% protection so that the plant will be well protected in winter. If the winter turned out to be warm, then make holes in such a design so that the buds do not bloom ahead of time.
Quite a laborious way to cover grapes for the winter. Along the entire vine row, you need to dig a trench up to 20-30 cm deep. The width directly depends on the thickness of the bunch of vines tied together. Lay the vine in the dug trench and dig in the grapes, that is, cover it with earth.
Above the trench, form an earthen rampart 15-20 cm high. This will protect the plant from the cold.
This method of hiding is the oldest, but it has many disadvantages. In mild winters, due to excessive moisture, the kidneys can be severely damaged. When collecting soil, the roots are partially exposed, which is also not very good. Also, grapes can be damaged during digging.
A fully ripe vine is able to withstand a critical subzero temperature, but no more than -12-15 degrees of frost. Until the onset of stable negative temperatures, perennial fruiting vines are not covered. Light frosts harden the vine, stimulate biochemical processes aimed at increasing the immunity and winter hardiness of the plant.
The principles on which the correct insulation of the vine is based.
Mold and condensation is the main problem of any plant that hibernates under cover. It is important to protect the vine from rodents, which can always be near - where it is warmer and there is something to profit from.
A wintering vine in the Central Black Earth Region is doomed to perish without even a modest shelter. Belgorod winegrowers consider our zone to be risky for agriculture and horticulture, therefore, it is most often recommended to plant the earliest grape varieties with a growing season of no more than 120 days on backyards. Covering grapes for the winter is a prerequisite for obtaining a full annual harvest.
I have Viking (blue) and Transfiguration (pink-fruited) growing on my site - early dessert varieties. The vine was never left to winter without insulation. If there was premature frost already at the end of October, then they covered it with roofing material and sprinkled it with earth (a quick way to get rid of the hopelessness of the situation) - our plants are alive - healthy and delight not the first year with full-bodied bunches. In the best case, I pin the grapes with electrodes at a distance from the ground, fall asleep with pine needles (more laborious) or straw and cover them with boards (a structure in the form of a house). Twice they insulated with husk (husk) of cereals instead of straw - the vine got a little underwhelmed, but did not die, all the buds began to grow. I don't use oilcloth, but I have nothing against it. By the way, the mice in the straw have not yet started.
A prerequisite for proper wintering is ventilation. We have it in the form of a cut off plastic "five-liter", which can be located both correctly and upside down, the main thing is that it is not covered with snow.
In anticipation of cold weather, the grapes are prepared for future wintering in September. Depending on the variety, the timing of fruit ripening and the climate in the region, preparation is carried out from mid-September to mid-October. After harvesting, the grapes begin to prepare for winter.
There are several ways to cover the vine for the winter:
Each method is acceptable in exceptional cases - in certain climatic conditions, for certain types and varieties of grapes.
Modern winter-hardy varieties hibernate well under light shelter, but even in temperate regions and in the south, many hybrids hibernate much better under shelter. For the vine, not only long frosts are terrible, but also unexpected warming in the middle of winter. In the warmest winter, the buds suffer on the shoots, which begin to come to life quite inopportunely. The main thing is compliance with the temperature regime and the absence of sudden changes, this is achieved by the presence of the simplest insulation in the vineyard.
The possibility of using various covering materials and natural insulation allows you to reduce labor costs and material costs in large vineyards, but at the same time preserve plants and hope for a future harvest.
The most common and safest method is to dry the vines. An excellent option for Siberia, the Urals, Transbaikalia, Bashkiria, the Volga region.
The insulation material mentioned above does not get wet, maintains a positive temperature inside the tent with grapes, is breathable and allows excess moisture to evaporate. The only exception to this method is that certain material investments are inevitable.
Often, old bags, blankets, outerwear, plastic containers and boxes are used to warm the grapes, depending on the size of the bush and its location on the site.
Covering grapes with snow and earth allows you to thoroughly protect the plant from frost and winds, but this option is suitable for frost-resistant varieties that grow in the southern regions of our country, in Central Russia, in Belarus (south, southeast), in the north-west of Ukraine, in Rostov, even in the Volga region. That is, with severe frosts and recurrent frosts, there is a possibility of partial freezing of shoots with insufficient insulation.
But many growers have proven through experience and many years of experience that a snow cover of 40–60 cm in height is an ideal method of sheltering a vine. If the branches were previously covered with thick spruce branches or fallen trees and a little covered with earth, there should be no problems with wintering.
The trenching method provides for the preparation of grooves with a depth of about 50–70 cm. The grape shoots fastened together are laid on the ground, covered with a special flooring made of slate or wood (this will avoid rotting of the vine). From above, the grapes are carefully covered with burlap or oilcloth and sprinkled with earth. In winter, such a frame is covered with snow and keeps warm well. This variant of "burial" of grapes until spring is well suited for the Krasnodar Territory, Stavropol Territory, Rostov Region, often in this way they insulate in the Central Black Earth Region, and in the Moscow Region, on the Belarusian land and in Bashkiria.
Each technique has its own advantages and disadvantages, the choice remains with the gardener.
Grapes - it is enough to cover the first year with a 5-liter plastic bottle and sprinkle with earth. If in doubt, cover with branches and sawdust from above. A ventilation cut must be left in the bottle.
Depending on the territorial location of the region and its climatic characteristics, the timing of sheltering the vine for the winter will be different. In the southern regions, in Ukraine, in the Rostov region and the Crimea, they often begin to warm grapes, poorly tolerating frost and weathering, at the end of November or in December.
In Central Russia, the Volga region, in Belarus, these dates come a little earlier - at the beginning of November.
In the Moscow region and the Leningrad, Bryansk region, the vine is freed from foliage and is ready for warming in mid - late October.
In the northern regions of our country, in Transbaikalia, in the Urals, they do not wait for the first frosts and snowfalls and begin to shelter dessert grape varieties from mid-October.
It is not the best option to cover the grapes when the outside temperature drops to the level indicated in the ampelography of the variety. The optimum average daily temperature for preparing the wintering of grapes is -5 -8 ° C, night frosts can reach -10 ° C, during the day an acceptable temperature regime for covering grape varieties is 0 -5 ° C.
By this time, the vine is freed from foliage, and moisture and nutrients have time to go deep into the roots, the grapes go into winter with dry shoots and dormant buds. It is dangerous to be ahead of events and to cover the plant ahead of time - when it warms, the vine grows rotten, and the buds may wake up and sap flow will begin - this will lead to the death of part of the shoots and even the whole plant. But sitting back until the bitter frost is not the most correct option. If you are late with shelter, the grape shoots will become too dry and brittle, in this state perennial vines and eyes are easily damaged, the plant's chances of surviving the winter are reduced. The organ of grapes most sensitive to cold is the root; it is insulated first of all, carefully covering the space around the trunk.
Some gardeners practice partial covering of the vine. At the first cold snap, the prepared vine is laid and pinned, covering with spruce branches and straw. And when the first night frosts appear or when predicting snowfalls, the grapes are sprinkled with earth or hidden under a frame shelter. For some southern regions, where the temperature does not drop below -15 degrees, this option of partial shelter is quite suitable for a full-fledged safe wintering.
For gazebo cultivation, gardeners usually select non-sheltered dessert grape hybrids or frost-resistant technical and universal varieties. The vine of such grapes winters well in an upright position. Buds and eyes are preserved until spring if the plant is planted in an area sheltered from northern winds near the wall of any building. Thus, the grapes are protected from weathering and return frost.
But in the case when table grapes, requiring warming for the winter, grows on a gazebo, its shoots are formed and sent to the structure in such a way that when a cold snap sets in, it is possible to carefully remove them and bend them to the ground.... Further, the vine is covered with non-woven material (lutrasil, spunbond), fixing it on the shoots in an upright position or covered with wooden shields, bending it to the walls of the gazebo.
In regions with a temperate climate, both full ground cover and semi-cover with a film can be used, since both methods give approximately the same effect. Wherein it is recommended to adhere to the following algorithm of actions:
If you wish, you can experiment with materials using a denser glassy fabric, greenhouse film, slate (fully covered with earth) and other versatile construction waste.