Wisconsin Challenges with Growing Grapes Bud injury occurs between -10 and -25 degrees F. Select cultivars which mature within your growing season (frost free period). Success depends upon selected cultural management practices
Bud Injury NY Bulletin – “Don’t plant grapes in any area receiving temperatures below -10 degrees F. FYI – Strawberry buds show flower damage at temperatures below 15 degrees F. (Mulch, straw, snow, etc.)
Mulch Trials 1989 winter air temperature at – 40 F at Spooner ARS. --Bluebelle yields from unprotected vines on trellis…..2# per plant average --Bluebelle yields from protected (snow mulch) vines …..12 # per plant average
Cultivar Choices - Hardiness Valiant Beta (Alpha) King of the North (Jung’s Nursery) Suelter Bluebelle MN 78 Eona Swenson Red Eidelweiss Other Swenson cvs. Worden Fredonia Concord
Cultivar Choices - Maturity Valiant (late Aug.) Beta Swenson Red (early Sept.) MN 78 Bluebelle (mid to late Sept.) Eidelweiss Eona Suelter (late Sept.) King of the North Worden Fredonia (early to mid Oct.) Concord
Recent Introductions St Croix St. Pepin Lacrosse Kay Gray Espirit Frontenac (wine type) Prairie Star Louise Swenson Swenson White Skujinsh 675 (Latvia) –ripens early and in cool seasons Zilga (Lativa) Kandiyohi Summer Sweet (early, late Aug.)
Getting Started Site Selection – full sun Sources of vines – propagation Spacing 10 x 10 Build the trellis before planting Plan training system
Planting Vines Early spring is the best time to plant grapevines. Fall planting is not recommended because plants are likely to be lost to heaving. During the first year, the vines are normally tied to a stake to keep them off the ground.
Pruning Annual pruning is important in maintaining a uniform yearly production of quality fruit. The best time to prune grapevines is in the dormant season after the danger of severe cold weather has past. When ‘Lay-down’ management is used, prune mildly in fall and complete pruning at spring trellising.
Training a New Trunk (Used to replace old/damaged)
Fertilizing Grapes perform best where the soil pH is between 5.0 and 6.0. Apply 8 ounces of 10-10-10 fertilizer per plant seven days after planting. Annually apply 11/2 pounds (10-10-10) per vine in the third and later years about 30 days before new growth begins in the spring.
Fertilizer Application Do not concentrate fertilizer at the base of the trunk. Keep fertilizer 6 to 12 inches from the trunk and spread evenly under the spread of the vine.
Weed Management/Mulch For best vine performance, avoid using thick organic mulches…heat needed for growth. Use tillage, herbicides or black plastic mulch to control weeds.
Diseases Common grape diseases are black rot, downy mildew, powdery mildew, phomopsis cane and leaf spot, and botrytis bunch rot or gray rot. Proper spacing for air circulation. Consider a disease pesticide program. Use organic Bordeaux and horticultural oils.
Insects Major insects and mites on grapes are grape berry moth, Japanese beetle, grape flea beetle, European red mite, grape root borer, and grape phylloxera.
Summary of Cultural Practices Select cultivars to match your climate Train vines for winter and summer Weed control, black plastic Fertilize before spring growth begins Prune annually Winter care: hardy cultivars, otherwise lay- down and rely on snow mulch or bury.