Video: Preparing Grape Vines For Reliable Wintering
Read the previous part. ← My grapes
Zilga grapes are ripening
Thirty years ago, we calmly bought grapes in the markets or in stores and did not even think about trying to grow it in our gardens. And only as a legend, there was a rumor among gardeners about the monks of the Valaam Monastery, who almost a century and a half ago managed to grow both grapes and watermelons on their island.
In our gardens, we sometimes only allowed ourselves maiden grapes to decorate garden houses or gazebos. But in the last decade, grapes have become a very fashionable culture among St. Petersburg gardeners and summer residents.
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The first stage of preparing bushes
I could not resist this "fashion" either. Several years ago, the first grape plants appeared in my garden, in a greenhouse. I know that some experienced gardeners are trying to grow this southerner in the open field in a wall culture, I also began to test this method, but still my main hope is a greenhouse. I think I wasted my time and effort. At the end of the last season, I already had quite a significant harvest of this berry.
I removed ten kilograms of grapes from the Zilga vines - juicy, weighty clusters of blue berries - delicious, sweet - grew. The Isabella variety yielded seven kilograms of aromatic grapes. The still young plant of grapes Krasa Severa had a more modest result - four kilograms of berries, white with a pinkish tint. Agree that this is a good harvest for the conditions of the Leningrad Region.
Of course, I consider myself a novice winegrower, but I already have some experience. I believe that a lot when growing this southern crop depends on providing it not only with favorable growing conditions in the warm season, but also with reliable wintering. The climate of the North-West region, to which the Leningrad region belongs, is far from ideal for grapes.
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Two bushes connected together
After all, the grape bush begins to grow at + 10 ° C. For further growth, flowering and development of the whole plant, you need + 25 … 30 ° C heat. With a cold snap, the growth of shoots slows down, the photosynthesis of leaves decreases, and the accumulation of sugars in berries decreases. At + 14 ° C, these processes stop altogether.
Therefore, I grow grapes in a film greenhouse. I remove the film for the winter, so it is very important to prepare the grapes for the winter and the frosty period of its life. Over the years, I have worked out the technology of sheltering the vine, which I strictly adhere to. I hope that my experience, which I will talk about, accompanying it with photographs of the entire sheltering process, will be useful to those gardeners who are just taking their first steps.
I start preparing the grapes for wintering by pruning the vine, removing excess growth. Then each bush, and I have two in my greenhouse, grow towards each other, I tie it with twine for compactness. After they are neatly connected, I connect them and tie them together. I wrap the trunks of grapes in the root zone with spunbond, and cover them with a film on top and also tie them with twine.
Insulation is put on the bottom of the bundle
Then, on the underside of the connected bushes, I put on a special insulation for pipes and again wrap it with twine. In this case, the insulation must also fix the ends of the spunbond and the film in the root zone of the grapes. And again I put on another insulation - this time on the upper side of the connected vines. I also fasten everything with twine.
I put the bundles of vines warmed in this way in a trench between the bushes. I press them more tightly with metal strips, you can do this with wire. And then I cover the insulated bushes with earth, shovel it into the root zone - on spunbond and film. For reliability, I add a thick layer of dry leaves over the film.
After the onset of persistent cold and frost and after snow falls, I remove the film from the greenhouses, but before that I put another layer of film on top of the foliage. In this case, the leaves will remain dry until spring. This completes the preparation of grapes for wintering.
Shelter by the ground
In the spring, I again cover the greenhouses with plastic and raise the bound vines. In winter, they were warm, dry, and most importantly, enough air to breathe. After the threat of severe frost has disappeared, I cut the ends of each branch and tie them to the posts and trellises. This method of covering vines is also suitable for open ground.
Insulation for pipes is best put on a bundle of vines from both sides, while the cut of the top should be below the bush, not in contact with the ground, so that in spring water does not get into the insulation. If your insulation turns out to be equal in diameter to a bunch of vines, and you get by with one layer, all equal, its cut must be at the bottom of the bunch. At the same time, you need to additionally lay a film in the trench, with which you will then wrap insulation. This is necessary to protect it from spring melt water.
Leaves complete the whole process
I would like to say about one more observation. If you are growing grapes in a greenhouse, then it should have double doors on both sides so that you can easily ventilate the soil against acidification. To protect plants from animals getting there, I install a reliable mesh in the doors, it does not interfere with the ventilation.
The beds in the greenhouse should be higher than the aisle, it is advisable to water the grapes in the well - through neatly installed pipes so that moisture flows directly to the roots. This year, four-year-old shrubs were harvested, which grew after cuttings in the open field. In the spring I will transplant them to a permanent place. By the way, I covered them in the same way. I think it is simple and reliable, I have been using it for five years now.
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