Grapes Cultivation

Grapes Cultivation

Grape vines not only produce sweet and versatile fruits, they add an element of drama to a garden or landscape. They are vigorous growers, and with the proper pruning, they will produce fruit with ease and can last longer than 30 years.

American grapes are the most cold-hardy, while European grapes, usually more for wine than the table, do well in warm, dry, Mediterranean type zones. Hybrids are available. Thick skinned Muscadines thrive in the South.

Make sure you purchase grape vines from a reputable nursery. Vigorous, 1-year-old plants are best. Smaller, sometimes weaker, 1-year-old plants are often held over by the nursery to grow another year and are then sold as 2-year-old stock. Obtain certified virus-free stock when possible.

There are three different types of grapes:

American (V. labrusca)

European (V. viniferia)

North American native Muscadine (V. rotundifolia).

Family: Vitaceae

Climatic Requirements:
The ideal climate for grape growing is the Mediterranean climate. In its natural habitat, the vines grow and produce during the hot and dry period. Under South Indian conditions – vines produce vegetative growth during the period from April to September and then fruiting period from October to March. Temperatures above 100C to 400C influence the yield and quality. High humidity and cloudy weather invite many fungal diseases, besides lowering the T.S.S. : Acid ratio.

Grapes Cultivation

The grape is widely adopted to various soil conditions, but the yield and quality reach to the highest on good fertile soils have pH 6.5 to 8.5, organic carbon above 1.0%, free of lime and having a medium water holding capacity. Early but medium yields with high T.S.S. are harvested on medium type of soils.

Seeded varieties –Cardinal, concord Emperor, Italia, Anab-e-shahi, Cheema sahebi, Kalisahebi, Rao Sahebi.

Seedless varieties – Thompson seedless, flame seedless, kishmish chorni, perlette, Arkavati.

Raisin purpose varieties – Thompson seedless, manik chaman, sonaka, Black corinth, Black monukka, Arkavati, Dattier.

Wine varieties – Chardonnay, Cabernet Saurignnon, Bangalore Blue, Muscat, Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Blane, White Riesling, and Merlot.

Grapevine is most commonly propagated by hard-wood cuttings, though propagation by seed soft wood cutting, layering, grafting and budding is specific to certain situations. Occasionally, unrooted cuttings are also planted directly in the field in the pre-determined position for a vine.

Grapes Cultivation

For hardwood cuttings, IBA, 1000 ppm treatment is useful for early, better and uniform rooting of cutting. For grafting Dog ridge, Ramsey, 1616, 1613,1103P, So4, etc. are used. Sometimes the rootstocks are planted in the field and there they are grafted with suitable varieties.

Planting and Season:
Usually planting is done from October onwards till January. Rarely planting is also done during June-July where the monsoon is late. Monsoon planting is avoided mainly for avoiding diseases on young growth. For planting N-S direction the trenches are opened.

The size of trench may be 60 to 75 cm. Deep wide. Then these trenches are filled with FYM, organic manures, 5:10:5 organic mixtures, single super phosphates, biofertilisers, neem cakes, etc. Spacing for planting is maintained depending on soil type, variety and method of training. The distance between two rows may be 2 to 3 m while distance between vines within a row will be half of that, accommodating vines from 2000 to 5000 per hectare.

Balanced nutrition and use of chemical, organic and biofertilisers is essential to get a good crop of good quality every year. About 700 to 900 N, 400 to 600 P and 750 to 1000 K Kgs/ ha/year are applied to get about 30 to 35 tonnes produced yearly.

Grapes Cultivation

The use of vermiphos, biomeal, mixtures of 5:10:5 ormichem, micronutrient mixtures have proved useful in grape production. Fertilizers are applied mainly twice in a year at the time of pruning, besides occasional foliar sprays are also practiced. Now-a days, Fertigation techniques is being popular in grape growers.


Irrigation practices vary considerably in different regions of India depending upon the rainfall pattern, time of pruning, different growth stages, water-holding capacity of soil, variety grown, training system followed and spacing of vines. Irrigation is provided once in every three days in newly planted vineyards by allowing water into a small circular basin of 50 cm. radius. With the increase in growth rate the size of the basin increases to a radius of 2m.

In case of drip irrigation, only one emitter is placed at the base of the vine. The number of emitters gradually increases to two and then four which are shifted about 30 or 40cm. away from the stem depending upon the variety and spacing of the vines. Heavy irrigation is provided soon after pruning in order to wet the entire root zone thoroughly and induce active growth in the vine. Light irrigation of 50-75mm. (5.0-7.5 L./ha.) is given is given at an interval of 10-12 days during winter and 5-7 days in summers. In the event of rainfall during that interval, the next irrigation is either omitted or delayed. Irrigation frequency is reduced during anthesis, fruiting stage and also after berry softening to improve fruit quality.

Plant protection:
Grape shoots, leaves, blossoms and berries are attacked by many fungi and insect pests, besides some nematodes are also cause damage to roots.

Grapes Cultivation

Major fungal diseases – Anthracnose, Powdery mildew, Downy mildew,Dead arm, Botraytis and Botrodiplodia.

Major bacterial diseases –Xyantomonas, blight.

Viral diseases – Fan leaf disease

Major Insect pests – Flea beetle, Mealy bug, Red mite, Thrips, caterpillars.

Soil born pests – Nematodes, phyloxere, white ants, and white grub.

Control measures: A number of systemic and contact fungicides and pesticides are available and are to be used as per following local schedule.

Besides pests and diseases the crop is to be protected against weeds, Cyprus, doob grass, Parthenium olerace are some of the common and important weeds found in vineyards. They are controlled by frequent weeding fruit ching/growing cover crops or by using chemical weedicides as Gramaxone, Basaline, Roundup, Glycel, etc.

Grape bunches are also to be protected against hot sun, Cold wave, dry air spell, Dew and Storm. Some chemical some physiological and some mechanical means methods are adopted.

Harvesting and yields:
Normal grape harvest season starts in February and continuous up to end of April. Well matured bunches having at least 180 Brix are harvested

Grapes Cultivation

Av. yields – For seedless varieties – 20 to 30 t/ha/y

For seeded varieties – 40 to 50 t/ha/y

Post Harvest handling:
Harvested grapes are packed in 2 to 4 kg-corrugated boxes. Grape guards, pouches are kept inside the boxes for distant markets. Pre-cooling and use of grape guards are the musts for cold storage and export markets.

Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta, Ahmedabad, Ludhiana, Patna, Jamshedpur, Bangalore, Hyderabad, are the main market places in the country.

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