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Video: My Experience In Growing Grapes
Vine in Sinyavino
I am a gardener with decent experience. My plot of nine acres is located in the gardening "Voskhod" of the Kirovsky district of the Leningrad region. I have in my garden on the site various fruit trees: apple trees of nine varieties, three pears, cherries, plums, berry bushes. But I never thought that in our rather harsh climate it is possible to grow a vine and have a harvest of "sun berry".
But the happy acquaintance at lectures with wonderful specialists: a geneticist-biologist, breeder Igor Aleksandrovich Timofeev and wine-grower Mikhail Viktorovich Solovyov convinced me that this is also possible in our Ladoga area. However, I will immediately note that you need to treat the cultivation of grape vines responsibly, since you can waste your time and effort.
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Dvietsky grape variety
First of all, it is necessary to resolve the issue of varieties that can be grown in our climatic conditions: either in a greenhouse or in an open field in a wall culture with planting bushes at a distance of 40 cm from the foundation on the south side of the building. I would not grow grapes outdoors without protection from wind and precipitation, even with shelter for the winter. I still have a very modest experience in growing grapes in a greenhouse, because I have been growing it for only 7 years. But now there is a lot of good literature on viticulture. I use the books of R. E. Loiko "Northern Grapes" and M. Abuzov "Atlas of Northern Grapes".
As a result, I already have six grape vines planted at different times: Korinka Russian, Dvietsky (two bushes), Aleshenkin, Krasa Severa (Olga) and Moscow delicacy, i.e. in my greenhouse, designed according to my capabilities for ten bushes, six are bearing fruit.
Grape variety Krasa Severa
Four bushes are not yet bearing fruit, they are only two years old. But this season, in autumn, if the vines ripen well, which I really hope, I will form them for fruiting. These are Rusbol (seedless), Early Vanderlaand, Elegant (very early) and Purple August. I received them from the wine grower M. V. Soloviev. They are recommended for growing in greenhouses. All the varieties I have listed are available in viticulture catalogs.
All ten bushes are arranged along the greenhouse in two rows from north to south. There is a passage with barriers between the rows. The distance between the bushes in a row is 1.5 m. The vines are distributed on trellises, consisting of five stretched wires, spaced from each other at a distance of 30-40 cm.
Here are some of the results from the past season. By September 13, 2009, the Dvietsky variety had formed clusters weighing 200-330 grams, the Aleshenkin variety - clusters weighing 200-300 grams, but this vine had a lot of small berries (peas). He needs additional artificial pollination. The Kras Severa variety had a brush weight of 300-440 grams, and a yield of about 5 kilograms; variety Moscow delicacy - brush weight 200-260 grams, yield - 5 kilograms; variety Korinka Russian - brush weight 160-220 grams. It begins to ripen from August 5th.
Since of the above vines varieties Korinka Russian, Aleshenkin and Dvietsky can grow in open ground, I multiplied them and planted five seedlings (2 bushes of the Dvietsky variety, 2 bushes of the Aleshenkin variety and 1 Korinka Russian bush) on the south side of the building (kitchen and hozblok) in open ground in a wall culture. And in order to protect the vines from atmospheric precipitation, I plan this spring, when repairing the roof, to increase its front overhang by one meter above the vines, and I also want to cover the surface of the ridge with peat to better warm the soil with the sun.
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For those who intend to start growing grapes, I want to remind you of a very important and time-consuming event before planting it: you need to carefully prepare the soil that meets its natural requirements - crushed stone, sand, gravel, and first dig the old soil to a depth of 80-90 cm, removing into the dump, including clay. And replace everything with new soil, fertilizers.
I will say a few words about the construction of the greenhouse: now there is a wind around the city - many residents are changing wooden window frames to plastic ones. In any yard there are removed wooden glazed frames and doors. They can be used to make a greenhouse. A glazed greenhouse is more durable than a film one, since the film is torn from the wind. Greenhouses from used glazed frames can be made to any height and any vines can be used there. The roof over such a greenhouse must be made removable so as not to make unnecessary shelter for the vines for the winter: make a light shelter with corrugated cardboard, covering it with a film, and the rest will be covered with snow.
N. A. Benko in the greenhouse
As far as I can, I perform the most accessible formation of vines according to the two-armed Gusteau system without a stem, leaving 6-8 eyes after pruning on the fruit arrow, and 4 eyes on the replacement knot. I try to perform this shaping in the fall.
There should be nothing extra on the vine. All shoots should be directed towards fruiting. Therefore, it is necessary to timely carry out all operations on the grape bush, namely: pinching, fragments of stepchildren, chasing on 15 sheets. And then the vine will certainly delight you with an abundant harvest of juicy and tasty berries. Even in the conditions of our risky farming.
The author of the article is Nikolai Aleksandrovich Benko, a resident of besieged Leningrad. This issue comes out of print on the eve of the anniversary of the Victory of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War. We sincerely congratulate our new author, all war veterans, home front workers, blockade soldiers on this glorious date and wish them all good health and prosperity!