Caring for grapes — things worth knowing about table grapes

Grapevines are among the oldest cultivated plants, which were cultivated around 3,500 BC. were cultivated. The noble varieties originated from the wild grapevine (Vitis vinifera). In contrast to the original forms, the table grapes available today have larger berries, many are seedless and often resistant to fungi. This property is particularly important for cultivation in the home garden, since the classic grape is susceptible to fungal diseases and only produces healthy fruits with preventive treatments. With fungus-resistant varieties, organic cultivation is possible in the right location, you can quickly and easily create a Mediterranean flair. Planting grapevines in the home garden is easy and harvesting the sweet grapes is an experience.

Useful information Location Planting Care Watering Pruning Overwintering Species Pests & Diseases FAQ

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Interesting facts about table grapes

Botanical name: Vitis vinifera ssp. vinifera
Other names: vine, wine, vine plant, grape, vine
Use: fruit for immediate consumption and processing, climbing plant
Origin: Mediterranean region, Near East
Fruit: blue, white, yellow, red, pink, pink
Harvest time: depending on the variety, late August to late October
Special features: Breeding has resulted in varieties that have few seeds. Seedless table grapes are very popular with families with children. All grape varieties are self-fertile, ie good yields can be achieved from one vine if there is sufficient sun.

In which location does the grapevine feel most comfortable?

A sunny, wind-protected place in a south-facing position in the garden or in a very large pot on the balcony is ideal for the fruit tree. Trellises and pergolas are suitable as climbing aids and make care much easier. It is good for the fruit to ripen in autumn if the plant still benefits from the heat radiation from house walls and walls. Do n’t put table grapes on the groundbig demands. Humus and well-drained locations are best suited. Waterlogging, compaction and sandy soil that is too light are not good, since there must be sufficient moisture available for sweet fruits, but the soil should also dry out. When cultivating in a planter, it is important that the pot should have a volume of at least 30 to 50 liters and be as deep as possible.

How to plant grapes correctly?

The best time to plant is before sprouting in spring and autumn. This allows the wood to establish itself in the new location and form roots before new shoots grow. However, planting out is possible all year round as long as the soil is not frozen. Light soils must be supplied with sufficient humus. High-quality potting soil is suitable for this, preferably in combination with well-rotted compost. Improve heavy soils that tend to compact with a mixture of sand and potting soil. The pH should be between 5.5 and 7. Before planting, loosen the soil deeply and carefully remove all root weeds. The planting hole should be 40 cm deep and wide. Put the well-watered grape in such a way that theGrafting point (thickening on the trunk) is approx. 3 cm above the surface of the earth. Fill the space between the planting hole and the roots with a mixture of growing medium and topsoil. Finally, 5 to 10 liters of water are poured on and, if necessary, a layer of mulchused as protection against evaporation. With a support post or a trellis, you support the young wood, similar to fruit trees. Tie the young shoots to the stake several times as the vegetation progresses. As part of the stock structure, you can cut off the one-year-old wood at a height of 60 to 100 cm after the first winter and tie it to the trellis as a trunk. Already in the next year the stick will have several side shoots and the trellis will be densely overgrown. It is important that you do not plant too densely.

Our gardening tip: When planting against the wall of the house, the vine is planted at a slight angle to the wall. The planting distance depends heavily on the subsequent cultivation method. Usually it is 1.5 to 3 meters.

How do I properly care for and fertilize my grapes?

In addition to the cut, even soil moisture and need-based fertilization are very important. Fertilize with organic garden fertilizer in March/April. This organic fertilizer promotes the formation of humus and has a long-lasting effect. The last fertilization should be in June. It is important that the soil never dries out after the addition of nutrients. Regular chopping is also beneficial. This suppresses unwanted weeds and improves the soil structure with air. With a mulch layer of mature compost or mulch you prevent the soil from drying out quickly. This care measure can be carried out in autumn and helps young wine in particular to withstand the low temperatures in winter better.

Our professional tip: Avoid late fertilization and the use of blue grain or other mineral fertilizers in your home garden. Too much nitrogen leads to luxuriant growth and little fruit. Winter hardiness is also negatively influenced.

How do I water my grapevine correctly?

Young specimens in particular need needs-based watering in the first 2 to 3 years. This means that in phases without significant rainfall, watering once a week with at least 10 liters of water is necessary. Once the grapes have established themselves at the location and the soil is rich in humus, the effort for additional watering is reduced. How often you have to water depends largely on the precipitation, the location and the insolation. Basically, old canes have very deep roots and tolerate drought. The important thing is that it never gets congestedwet can come. If vine plants are close to the house wall, it may be that the rain is not sufficient and additional watering is necessary continuously.

How do I properly cut my grapes?

The most important maintenance measure for your own vines in the garden is pruning. Grapes only grow on one-year-old shoots that are on two-year-old wood. Note that you should cut at the following two times:

February/March (winter cut)

Pruning in late winter/spring is done when leafless. The pruning preserves the structure of the framework and promotes the formation of fruit wood.

Tenoning:

Either you cut so-called cones. The annual fruit shoots are cut back to 2 buds.

Bow vine pruning:

When pruning the vine, the annual fruit shoots are cut to 8 to 10 buds. After the cut, these approximately 80 cm long rods are attached to the trellis or support post in an arc. All other older side shoots are removed.

July/August (summer cut)

After sprouting in April, the plant grows rapidly and from mid-May you should limit the growth in length. Depending on the culture, a shortening of 1.80 m is common. The so-called miserly shoots are also regularly removed. Similar to tomato plants, pinching wine is a measure to promote fruit size. The side shoots are not needed and should be continuously broken out of the leaf axils. If you leave the stinging shoots on the vines, too much foliage will form. The grapes receive less light and air and the risk of fungal diseases increases. Summer care takes place several times from June to early September.

How do I overwinter my vine?

In a warm location and in a mild climate, the fruit trees are very hardy. In rough locations, winter protection with fleece or reed mats is recommended. For specimens in pots, it is advisable to protect the roots with leaves, brushwood or mulch. Binding the plants with sacking also helps prevent frost damage.

What types of grapes are there?

Breeding and selection have resulted in a large number of new varieties. In addition to the taste and color, the main distinguishing features are the susceptibility to fungal diseases (fungus-resistant varieties). There are also more and more varieties of seedless grapes that are suitable for growing in your own garden.

What pests and diseases can the grapevine get?

Grapes are hardy and not particularly susceptible to pests and diseases. If you plant fungus-resistant vines, you will have even fewer problems than with conventional varieties. The most common abnormalities are:

Powdery mildew (Uncinula necator, formerly Oidium tucceri)

Fungal disease is the most common cause of lack of yield. The mealy coating appears on the leaves from the end of May. Gray spots appear on young shoots, which turn reddish-brown over time and dry up completely like the fruit. Fungi-resistant varieties are not attacked. Conventional types should be treated preventively with plant strengtheners and also cut regularly to ensure a loose cane structure. Make sure that you do not leave infected parts on the plant and dispose of them with the household waste after pruning. It is also important that the berries are planted in a sunny spot. The foliage dries faster after precipitation and the vulnerability is lower.

smallpox mite

Bumps become visible on the upper side of the leaf, hence the term smallpox mite. On the underside, in the bulges of the smallpox, a dense white lawn of fungus forms. This is where the mites are located, which trigger the growth deformation through their sucking activity. However, the smallpox mite is only an optical problem, the pathogens are harmless and the harvest is not affected.

gray mold

It occurs mainly in wet and cool years. Pruning work is important as a preventive measure so that the berries hang freely and can dry well. Varieties with loose berries are less affected. The fungal disease, also known as «noble rot», is not a cause for concern. Affected parts can simply be cut off, they are not poisonous.

sunburn

In very hot weather, unsightly burns can occur on the berries. It is an optical problem and above all depends on the variety.

 

FAQ — Frequently asked questions about grapevines

How long does it take from planting to first harvest?

With strong plants, small panicles can grow on the young plant in the first year. However, it is better that the strength goes into growth and the wood establishes itself at the location. If the fruit is too heavy, the vine suffers. From the 3rd year good yields and large grapes can be expected.

Why do vines have to be grafted?

Grapevines basically consist of a rootstock and a noble variety. In the middle of the 19th century large vineyards were attacked by phylloxera and the plants died. Phylloxera does not affect the roots of American vines. To this day, this is the reason why the European varieties are bred on rootstocks of American origin. In order to prevent the occurrence of phylloxera, you should avoid planting ungrafted (ungrafted) vines.

What happens if grapes are not cut?

On the one hand, more grapes can be harvested through the cut, on the other hand, the cut prevents infestation by fungal diseases. Furthermore, a vine that is pruned regularly develops better, is denser in structure and can serve as a privacy screen.

Can you propagate grapevines from seeds?

The seeds contained in the berries only germinate after a period of low temperatures. Small, non-genuine seedlings emerge from the seeds, but they only grow into vines with great effort. However, from the topic with phylloxera listed above, it is also better to only grow grafts in your own garden.

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