Techniques for managing table grape cultivation

The content of this article 'Techniques for managing table grape cultivation' was prepared by www.agromatica.es and has been revised and republished by FreshFruitPortal.com.

The table grape is a fruit currently on the rise and widely consumed in all European countries. Spain and Peru among other countries are the largest producers worldwide. The grapes are not only harvested around the holidays but throughout the year.

Table grape cultivation

The cultivation of table grapes in Spain is mainly concentrated in Levante. The main production provinces are Alicante, Murcia and Andalucía, most of which are concentrated in the Almería municipality.

In recent years, apirenas (seedless) varieties have been more in demand than traditional varieties, even so, we believe that authentic table grapes are those which you have to avoid breaking the seed. On New Year's Eve, this becomes tedious due to the rush, but that is the grace of grapes!

In this article, we are going to give some information on table grape cultivation for such a special night. One of the techniques used to keep the grapes in perfect condition until this date is using the technique of bagging of the bunch.

When the cultivation is carried out in a conventional way with the bagging technique, phytosanitary products are not applied until the last moments before the harvests, so it is interesting to see the conversion to organic cultivation, with certain agricultural practices that we will talk about now.

Preparation of the land for table grape cultivation

For the cultivation of table grapes in an ecological way it is recommended:

  • Contribution of organic matter in the form of shoots, leaves, etc. which will end up becoming highly stable humidified material. The basis of organic farming is to maintain stable, alive and nutrient-rich soil. If you look, we are creating a mulch similar to the BRF that we mentioned at the beginning of the different types of mulch in the garden.
  • If the decomposition of these materials is slow, it will be necessary to use compost in the first stages of cultivation to provide the soil with enough decomposed matter at the time.
  • Avoid turning the soil, making fewer passes and shallower ones. Subsoiling is a recommended option.
  • Improve soil quality with green manures and crop association.
  • With mulch techniques, we manage to maintain the porosity of the soil at its most superficial layer.
  • Use hedges and windbreaking vegetation on the boundaries of the plot to protect the crop.
  • If the soil is affected by pests and diseases, polarization can be a method to consider.

Variety and rootstock: a vital choice

The choice of the variety and rootstock can determine the success or failure of the grape cultivation since once the vines are established, it is not something that can be corrected except by eliminating the existing and adding new.

Therefore, given the wide range of both parts that we currently have, it is vital to make a good selection and choice of plant material.

Mainly the variables that will influence the variety are going to be climate, altitude, orientation, production objectives and final recipients of the product, that is, to what type of market and clients are the grapes going to.

For the pattern choice, the factor is going to be the type of soil. It must be borne in mind that the compatibility between the two plays a role as much or more important than the qualities of each part separately.

We can have the pattern best adapted to our soil and the variety that we think is best, but if the compatibility between the two is not good, we will not obtain the expected results.

Conduction systems in table grape cultivation

The conduction system in table grapes is also a determining factor in the type of grape and the quality that will be obtained during the life of the vineyard. There are several conduction systems that provide very good grape quality. The most widespread is the vineyard. There are others that we briefly explain below:

Parral training system

It is the most used for late and early varieties. The arrangement and conduction are carried out at two meters from the ground with the vegetative zone parallel to the ground. It has high costs in support and establishment structures. In areas with excessive insolation, it is a good method to avoid damage to the berries.

table grapes

High trellis conduction

The vegetative zone develops vertically. Just the opposite of parral. Alternative to take into account in areas with steep slopes of the land where the vineyard is unviable. Suitable for early white, black and red varieties.

Conduction Y

This method is a combination of the previous two. The vegetation zone is left with a 45º inclination with respect to the ground. It combines the advantages of vine conduits and high trellis; the most outstanding thing is that it presents a foliar surface of up to 120 and 125% with respect to the soil and theoretically more production per hectare. (ROMAN, A., 1997).

Bagged bunch technique

And here is perhaps the most curious technique used for a late, quality, sweet grape with a uniform color.

The technique consists of bagging and covering the growing bunch with saturated cellulose paper. The paper is tied to the peduncle of the bunch and left open at the bottom, leaving the bunch covered as with a lampshade.

This bagging is left until harvest, providing numerous advantages:

  • Delayed ripening. A fundamental aspect if we want to eat them on New Year's Eve!
  • Smooth and uniform color.
  • Preservation of the cluster from insects and some birds, avoiding in turn, certain diseases.
  • Protect the cluster from direct sunlight and adverse weather conditions until harvest time.
  • Protect the bunch from harvesting and transportation conditions.

Source: www.agromatica.es.

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