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The Kuban has long been called the breadbasket of Russia. Located in close proximity to the two seas, the region, located on the same latitude as the southern provinces of France and the northern regions of Italy, is ideal for growing grapes. Such conditions for grapes are almost ideal, especially for regionalized varieties.
The vines planted in this area give good growth and manage to give the maximum yield even in relatively unfavorable years. The main secret of this is high-fertile soils saturated with moisture and nutrients, as well as a large number of sunny days in a year. Especially fruitful are vineyards, broken on the gentle slopes of the mountains.
Despite the rather mild climatic conditions, in the Kuban there is a danger of freezing of some grape varieties. That is why it is practiced sheltering vines for the winter with various materials. No less attention should be paid to winegrowers and the treatment of plants from pests and diseases, which in a humid and warm environment can completely destroy the crop.
The best grapes for the Kuban
For the first time, the inclusion of grape varieties recommended for the Kuban in the register was carried out in the 40s of the XX century, and only by 1965 the final list was formed, which is still relevant. Many modern varieties and clone varieties are imported to the Kuban by amateur winegrowers, and if successfully grown, they are added to the list of previously tested varieties.
Kuban winegrowers prefer to grow the following early grape varieties:
|Grade name||Description of vines and bunches||Advantages and disadvantages|
|Chasla||An early variety with medium vigor. Leaf blades heart-shaped, dissected, with denticles along the edge. The berries are round, greenish yellow, low in sugar.||The flowers in the bunch are bisexual, which allows not to grow additional pollinators. The maturation of annual shoots reaches 90%.|
|Portuguese||Early grapes with growing power above average. The bunch is large, dense. The berries are dark blue, with a thin skin, for technical purposes. Leaf blades slightly dissected, rounded.||High resistance to spring frosts, shoot maturation is excellent. Suitable for fresh consumption and for winemaking. Resistance to mildew and rot is average.|
|Hamburger Muscat||Medium early variety with loose clusters. The berry is large, blue with a slight bloom, sweet with a nutmeg flavor. Leaf blades with five blades, dissected weakly or deeply. Vine growth is above average.||The variety is ideal for blanks in the form of compotes, etc ... Resistance to freezing of the eyes is very weak. Under adverse conditions, prone to peeling.|
|Rkatsiteli||Classic Caucasian grape with a medium early ripening period. The clusters are dense, medium or large. The berries are thin-skinned, light, sometimes with a slight pinkish blush. Leaves are large, five- or three-lobed.||The variety is resistant to gray rot and mildew, frost resistance is above average. It does not tolerate overdrying of the soil. Suitable for fresh consumption, in blanks and for winemaking. Bunches are well kept fresh.|
|Narma||A variety of medium ripening. The cluster is medium, dense or slightly loose. The berries are light green with a thin skin. Leaf blades are wrinkled, large, with five lobes, strongly dissected. The growth rate of the vine is high, the maturation of shoots reaches 85-90%.||Productivity is stable. Resistance to diseases and pests is low.|
|Traminer pink||Medium early variety with a small bunch (up to 100 g), painted in pinkish color. The berries are dense, tender and sweet. Leaf blades densely pubescent, with three or five lobes, wrinkled. The vine has medium growth, shoots ripen well.||Crop stability is below average. Resistance to diseases and pests is normal. A significant drawback of the variety is the slow restoration of the bush after frost damage.|
|Nutmeg white||One of the oldest varieties. The bunch is elongated-conical, with pinkish-yellow berries. Leaf blades medium, strongly or moderately dissected. The growth and maturation of shoots is medium.||Very low resistance to frost, fungal and viral diseases and pests. Productivity under favorable conditions is good. The sugar content in the berries is very high.|
|Chardonnay||The variety is medium early, medium. The leaves are whole, wrinkled. The berries are picked in a cylindrical or conical bunch, light green, thin-skinned and sweet.||The most popular wine variety. Resistance to spring frosts is low, to winter - medium. It is well restored after freezing. The disease is often affected, with increased humidity or thickening of shoots, the berries are peas.|
In general, more than three dozen early and mid-early varieties feel good in the Kuban. By planting several varieties on your site, you can get a decent crop annually.
Dates and rules for planting seedlings by cuttings
Local gardeners prefer to acquire cuttings of grapes in the Kuban in the autumn. At this time, you can easily assess the condition of young plants. The main advantage of the autumn planting period is the earlier start of vegetation next year and a more rapid entry into fruiting.
Grapes in the Kuban: harvest
Autumn planting seedlings must obey several rules:
- Prevention of drying out of the root system. The seedlings are soaked for 24 hours in water, after which the roots are shortened by a quarter of their length. The shoots should be shortened, leaving 3 or 4 buds. Weak branches are removed.
- Planting pits for any planting period are made with a length of each side of at least 80 cm, and the soil in them is fertilized with humus and a mixture of fertilizers. If the soil is clay, a little sand is added to it, if on the contrary, it is compacted by the addition of loam.
- With an autumn planting, dates should be calculated based on considerations when the roots can take root, and after that steady frosts will come. The seedlings are covered with a plastic bottle with ventilation holes, and after the onset of frost, the seedling is completely filled with soil or peat with the bottle, creating a mound 30-40 cm high.
- During spring planting, approximately in mid-April, when the soil thaws and warms up, seedlings must be shaded from the sun so that they do not die due to overdrying or burns.
In spring and autumn, grapes require abundant watering. Late and early varieties need moisture equally, so 2-3 buckets of water are poured under each bush with an interval of two weeks.
Grapes care in the Kuban is not much different from care in other places, and is a combination of classical agrotechnical procedures:
- pruning and rationing of bunches;
- treatment from pests and diseases.
Watering is necessary regular and plentiful - about 15 liters for each plant 4-5 times per season. In wet weather, watering can be reduced to prevent cracking of berries. In parallel with irrigation, you can carry out dressing by the root or non-root method.
Tie vines to the support is necessary as they grow. In the first year, it is enough to install pegs next to each bush, and in subsequent years a full trellis will be required. You can form vine bushes in the form of a fan, cordon or form a standard plant. It is important at the same time to evenly distribute the sleeves on the trellises, so that each of them receives a sufficient portion of sunlight.
There are several types of operations aimed at the correct formation of the grape bush:
- A fragment of young non-lignified shoots. It is carried out in the spring, with a shoot length of 2-3 cm, for thinning, and 10-15 cm, to adjust the number of shoots with and without ovaries.
- Pasynkovka and pinching, allowing you to adjust the strength of the growth of shoots. In the absence of this formation, the vine can be depleted, and the berries will turn out to be small. For normal fruiting, it is recommended to leave no more than 10 leaves on each fruiting shoot.
- Pruning, which is practiced from 4 years after planting grapes. Spend it in the fall, removing old or diseased vines. Chop with clipping is not worth it! Experienced growers recommend leaving a third more shoots than will be required next year. After wintering, excess and damaged shoots can be plucked or trimmed.
To obtain high yields, it is important to pay attention to the normalization of bunches. For any variety, it is recommended to leave no more than 2 clusters on each shoot. Extra ones are plucked before flowering.
We also offer you to read an article that describes the features of processing grapes from diseases and pests in the spring.
How and what to cover grapes in the Kuban
No matter how persistent the grapes are, and no matter how mild the climate in the Kuban, many varieties need to be covered for the winter to avoid the death of shoots and eyes. For grapes, not only the freezing of the soil and the vines themselves is terrible, but also the icing of the ground part during the February thaws.
To avoid damage to plants, it is necessary to choose materials and terms of shelter. Before covering the vine bushes, it is important to wait for steady colds so that the eyes do not bulge out. The soil surface must be mulched with a thick layer of peat or leaf litter. Mulch should be distributed under the entire bush, and near the stem it is better to create a mound up to 30 cm high.
With the onset of cold vines are removed from the supports and laid in the aisles. Further, experienced growers recommend building a tunnel above them from a covering material or film (the latter is important to place on low arcs!). The space between the material and the vine can be filled with leaves.
You need to remove the shelter in early March. At this time, relative heat is established in the Kuban without sharp changes in day and night temperatures. Raise the vine on the trellis immediately do not need. It is better to wait for the sap flow to begin when the shoots become softer. After tying to the support, it is recommended to shed plantings with a rooting agent solution so that the roots recover faster. This procedure will be especially useful after a frosty winter.
In areas where the maximum winter temperature does not reach -5 degrees, the vine can not be removed from the trellis. And as a shelter to use covering material. The base of the bush must be mulched with a thick layer of peat or soil (spud the bush). With the onset of heat, the shelter is also removed, and the boom is freed from the soil.
When to cover vine bushes for the winter
It is easier to grow grapes in the Kuban than in other regions of Russia. However, here there are subtleties. The right approach to business and the timely implementation of care will help growers to get stable crops annually.