Often in the garden, you can find the so-called technical grape varieties.
In fact, they are distinguished by a high sugar content in berries, they have a rather exquisite taste and aroma, which makes them quite suitable not only for making wine, but also for eating fresh.
And the decisive moment when choosing a variety for planting is the frost resistance of the plant. It is for these reasons that the technical grape variety Crystal is so popular among amateur gardeners.
- Crystal grape variety: description and photo
- Attractive points and disadvantages of the variety
- Where to buy seedlings of the Crystal variety and how to plant it correctly
- Care rules: we organize watering
- Organization of wintering
- Pests and diseases
- An important procedure is pruning
Crystal grape variety: description and photo
The variety was bred by Hungarian breeders. It is technical, the ideal ratio of sugar and acid contained in berries makes it an excellent raw material for winemaking. If we talk about the taste of fresh berries, they are practically in no way inferior to table varieties.
In appearance, the bunches of the Crystal can hardly be attributed to presentable, the berries are not very large. It is not picky about leaving, it is resistant to frost.
It is recommended for cultivation in the North Caucasus, but in practice it has been proven that an excellent harvest can be obtained in more severe weather conditions in the Central region and even in the Urals. True, in the conditions of the Urals, the vine needs to be carefully covered for the winter.
Crystal berries are small, weighing barely 2 g, and a diameter of 7 mm. The shape of the berry is spherical. By autumn, the pale green berry is covered with a gray waxy bloom. The fruits are not prone to cracking, since the peel is strong enough. Berries that are in direct sunlight by autumn can acquire a golden-pink hue.
The berries are collected in small clusters, usually their weight is from 150 to 200 g. The berries are not densely placed in the clusters.
According to the ripening period of the berries, the Crystal is classified as early, the ripeness period begins in August. But for making wine, it is recommended not to rush to harvest, if the berries stay on the vine a little longer, they will become sweeter.
But it is also not worth delaying the process too much, the berries begin to dry out. Harvesting begins with the lower bunches.
The leaves on the vine have a rich dark color, a feature of the variety is the fact that on one bush you can find leaves of different shapes, both whole and strongly dissected.
More detailed information about the Crystal grape variety is on the video:
Attractive points and disadvantages of the variety
First, let's note the advantages:
- undemanding care;
- the ability to harvest under far from ideal weather conditions;
- good survival rate of seedlings;
- high growth rate;
- not a tendency to get sick with powdery mildew, neither false nor real;
- immunity to gray mold damage;
- resistance to cold, the ability to withstand frosts up to - 25 C;
- high yield, up to 6 kg of berries per sq. m., and this is not the limit;
- no tendency of berries to crack and fall off.
The variety also serves as a pollinator for other grape varieties.
The sugar content in berries is 18_20%, the juice yield is about 70%.
You can use berries for fresh consumption, making juice and wine, for jam and compote, for drying.
Among the shortcomings are usually mentioned:
- unpresentable type of bunches;
- small berries;
- unsuitability for long-term transportation.
Where to buy seedlings of the Crystal variety and how to plant it correctly
It is best to purchase seedlings in gardening shops or nurseries, otherwise there is a risk of getting other varieties. The nursery should be chosen in the area where you live, or located to the north, such seedlings are more adapted to the weather conditions of this region.
When choosing plants, attention is paid to the condition of the roots, if possible, it is better to give preference to seedlings with a closed root system.
The site for planting should be well-lit, but protected from northerly winds.
The distance to the nearest fruit trees should be at least 5 m.
You cannot plant bushes in the lowlands, where melt water collects in spring and rainwater in summer. Areas with very shallow groundwater are also undesirable.
The diameter of the planting pit should be about 80 cm, and its depth should be the same. A drainage layer must be laid at the bottom of the pit.
Before planting, layers of sod land and black soil are created in the pit. humus with the addition of potassium sulfate and superphosphate.
You can plant seedlings when the soil warms up well, according to folk signs - the best time for planting comes when the bird cherry blossoms.
If the grapes are to be used for fresh consumption, then the bushes should be planted at a distance of one and a half meters from each other, if the berries are used for making wine, then the distance can be reduced to 70-80 cm.
The distance between the radars should be from 2 to 2.5 m.
Competent marking of the site will save plants from the occurrence of fungal diseases and pest infestations.
Grapes are grown on a trellis, its height should reach one and a half meters.
We learn about planting grapes in more detail when watching the video:
Care rules: we organize watering
Watering the grapes requires mainly in the first two years of life. The volume of water should be 3-4 buckets per bush, the frequency of watering, if the summer is dry - after 10 days.
Adult bushes are watered a maximum of 4 times per season, bringing about 3 buckets of water under the bush.
In the fall, water-charging watering is done, while 7-8 buckets of water are brought under the bushes. But such watering should be discarded in case of cool rainy weather.
Often, watering is carried out through a system of dug-in pipes, in fact, such irrigation is more effective, because supply water to the roots, and do not breed dampness under the bushes. It is not allowed to water the grapes by sprinkling.
The second effective irrigation option is drip.
The grapes need additional dressing, for introduction into the trunk circle they use:
- dry ammonium nitrate;
- ammonium sulfate;
- once every two years - humus;
- wood ash.
The best option is the introduction of complex compositions specially designed for grapes: Kemira, Plantafol, Solution.
Organization of wintering
Since the Kristall grapes are frost-hardy, in areas with moderately cold winters, it will be enough to cover the plant roots for reinsurance. For this, fallen leaves and twigs are removed from the trunk circle and a layer of mulch is poured, the thickness of which should be at least 10 cm.
Bulk humus or peat chips can be used as mulch. Immediately near the trunk, the layer is thickened to 25 cm.
Plants up to three years of age are completely covered. You can use cardboard boxes. Rotted straw or sawdust, paper is used as an insulating material.
If there is burlap, you can build a kind of hut and cover the frame with it in several layers. You can also use spruce branches. Shoots are removed from the trellis, laid on the ground and covered with a thick layer of spruce branches.
You can remove the shelter if the air temperature rises to + 5 C. If there is a threat of night frosts, it is better to make ventilation holes in the shelter.
Pests and diseases
We have already recalled that the Crystal variety has an innate immunity to fungal infections. But prevention doesn't hurt anyway.
Preventive treatments are carried out twice a season:
- a week before flowering;
- after complete harvesting of ripe fruits.
For processing, a fungicide solution is used, it is prepared in accordance with the instructions.
For spraying, you can use:
- Horus or Topaz;
- Abiga-Peak or Skor;
- copper sulfate or bordeaux liquid.
To prevent the raids of pests at the very beginning of the growing season, before bud break, the bushes are treated with Nitrafen solution.
They also practice processing with an infusion of wood ash or colloidal sulfur.
Scarecrows, mirrors, shiny tapes, noise scarers are used to protect against birds.
Loosening of the soil in the near-trunk circle should be done after watering and rains, but at least 7-8 times during the summer. In order not to waste extra time, you can use the mulching of the trunk circle.
An important procedure is pruning
The rate of grape yield depends on how correctly the bushes are cut. In the case of excessive growth of the green mass, the berries become smaller, their taste deteriorates. Experts say that the permissible load on an adult bush is 60-65 eyes.
pruning with a very sharp tool, first of all, remove broken and dried branches. Since the wounds inflicted in the spring heal poorly, only that which is harmful to the plant is removed.
The spring period is associated with the active formation of shoots, they must be broken off when they reach a length of 2-3 cm. The second pinching is done when the shoots reach a length of 15 cm. Shoots with a length of 50-65 cm are tied to a trellis, while the wire should be wrapped with rags or a washcloth.
It takes knowledge, skill and practice to properly form a grape bush. In the summer, it will be necessary to systematically remove stepchildren, poorly located shoots; in an adult plant, you need to pinch the top.
The best time for the main pruning is autumn, the period when all the leaves fall off, but before the first frost. First of all, the pore on the lower part of the trunk is removed, the tops are cut off on the shoots formed in summer, shortening them by about 10%.
A very sharp and disinfected instrument is used for work. It could be a secateurs.
Growing grapes of the Crystal variety will be a feasible task even for novice gardeners. Of course. to get a harvest, you will need to adhere to the recommendations for plant care.