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10 Biggest Mistakes Grape Growers Make
Just the other day, me and a good friend of mine, was talking about the mistakes most of the grape growers make.
These are basic errors that can easily fixed if the grape grower knows how to.
Here are 10 things most grape growers do wrong.
1. Poor planning of your vineyard
Remember, the best row direction for a grape vine is north/south. This will give the vines the maximum exposure to the much-needed sunlight and the vines need the sunlight to ripen fruit, ripen buds, and for normal photosynthesis.
2. Underestimation of the vitality of the vine
Too many people construct their trellises to small and then the vine overgrows the whole trellis by so much, that the advantages of having a trellis have no effect! The main purpose of a trellis is to support the vine, but another main reason for having a trellis is to spread the shoots, so it will be exposed to enough sunlight.
3. The trellis is not constructed beforehand.
I see this problem often. You plant your vine, and think you will set up the trellis later and this usually never happens before the 2nd year. What you are actually doing, is setting back the development of your vine with one full year! And normally this makes pruning, training and disease control almost impossible! Construct your trellis before you plant the vine, this will guarantee that you can start training the vine as soon as starts growing.
4. Underestimating the importance of removing site shoots when training your vine.
Side shoots set back the growth of your young vine and uses energy that could have gone into growth. One very important thing to remember is that side shoots are used for developing the framework of the vine, once it reaches the trellis. Do not remove any side shoots, within 6 inches from the bottom trellis wire, once your vine reaches the this wire.
5. Summer treatments not done properly
The removing of leaves, the suckering of water shoots, the twining of shoots and the thinning out of bunches (if you want larger berries) is not often done by home grape growers. Applying the correct summer treatments, will ensure that pruning during the winter will be much easier. This will also keep your vine from compacting, which will be bad for sunlight penetration, disease control and ripening of fruit, shoots and buds.
6. Choking of young training shoots
When training the vine, we use a string attached to the vine and stretched to the bottom wire of the trellis. This training line (strings) is tied the incorrect way so shoot above this string was chosen to train and develop the vine. Once the stem of the vine grows thicker, and this training wire was not removed, it chokes the vine and can even kill it! I've seen 2-year-old vine die because of this.
7. Leaving way to many clusters on young vines
I call this greediness (not being rude :-). This is natural, you leave as many grapes as you can on a young vine - actually, what you are doing is setting back the young vine and eventually you will struggle to develop a strong framework
8. Choosing the wrong shoots when pruning
Choosing the wrong shoot will have a direct influence on the crop size. Use only strong, well matured shoots as bearers for next season's crop. If you cane prune, this is even more important!
9. Not training the vine the correct way.
This is by far the biggest mistake, home grape growers make and this will influence the vine for the rest of its life. The training of a young vine must be done properly because the training method you use, will make the framework of your vine.
OK so even the most experienced grape grower, still learns new things every single day, but you must teach yourself the basic knowledge of the grape vine, before you start growing one.
Most of the home grape growers make these basic mistakes. Applying the correct techniques will ensure a healthy, great looking, fruitful and happy grape vine.
"The Complete Grape Growers Guide" will cover ALL of these mistakes in detail.
Have a grape (great) day!
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