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How To Cover Grapes For The Winter Correctly So That They Do Not Freeze
How To Cover Grapes For The Winter Correctly So That They Do Not Freeze

Video: How To Cover Grapes For The Winter Correctly So That They Do Not Freeze

Video: Protecting Grapevines from Winter Injury 2022, December

How to properly cover grapes for the winter

Grapes in autumn
Grapes in autumn

Grapes are a heat-loving southern plant, and in most of Russia they have to be sheltered for the winter. At a young age, even winter-hardy, non-covering varieties may need winter protection.

General principles of winter protection of grapes

During wintering grapes are threatened by three main dangers:

  • low temperatures, especially critical in winters with little snow;
  • damping out from dampness during thaws or with too deep snow;
  • mouse gnaws.

A shelter with coniferous spruce branches saves from mice, thorny needles scare away these rodents.

Field mice
Field mice

Grapes covered with straw or sawdust can be gnawed by mice

To avoid damping grapes, there are two simple rules:

  • It is necessary to start the shelter only after the establishment of light subzero temperatures, and to shoot in the spring immediately after the snow melts.
  • If polyethylene film or similar airtight materials are used, the shelter must be ventilated during winter thaws by slightly lifting the film from the ends to allow air to enter.

My neighbor has her beautiful Crimean grapes under a solid shelter sometimes in a worse condition in a warm winter after a long autumn than the same bushes with the same shelter after a normal frosty and snowy winter. And adult bushes of local isabelle varieties generally winter without being removed from the supports.

Shelter of grapes with spruce branches
Shelter of grapes with spruce branches

Covering grapes with spruce branches protects both from frost and from mice

Hiding grapes for different regions

Different methods are used for winter shelter depending on the climate.

Earthen shelter is the easiest

Hilling grapes with soil is a traditional method of shelter in the zone of industrial viticulture, these are the southern regions with mild short-term frosts down to -15..- 25 ° C and very little or no snow. At the end of autumn, the vine is simply removed from the trellises, laid on the ground and covered with a layer of soil from the row spacing to a height of 5-15 centimeters. In the spring, huddled bushes are carefully dug up. A clear plus of this method is its simplicity and low cost. The main disadvantage is hard physical work, and the bushes are often damaged by a shovel during spring breaking.

Shelter with agrofibre - for the climate of the middle zone

This method requires minimal physical effort. It is often used by gardeners of the middle lane to shelter young (up to three years of age) bushes of winter-hardy grape varieties. It is done simply:

  1. Remove the vine from the trellis.
  2. Lay directly on the ground, or better on laid fiberglass or agrofibre.

    Shelter grapes
    Shelter grapes

    It is better to lay the vine not directly on the ground, but on a layer of rotting material

  3. Cover the top with breathable agrofibre in 2-3 layers.
  4. Press the covering material with bricks around the perimeter.

    Shelter with agrofibre
    Shelter with agrofibre

    To prevent the shelter from being blown away by the wind, the agrofibre around the perimeter must be pressed with bricks

A frame shelter is a reliable option for regions of cold and harsh continental climates

It is used in the middle lane, in the Urals and Siberia. Time consuming, but effective, holds up to -20..- 25 ° С without snow and up to -40 ° С under snow cover:

  1. Insulate the vine laid on the ground with spruce branches or agrofibre.
  2. Close the top tightly with polyethylene along the established arcs.

    Frame shelter
    Frame shelter

    Thick polyethylene for shelter is pulled in arcs and the edges of the film are sprinkled with earth

  3. Bury the edges of the film with earth.
  4. During the thaw, the film must be slightly opened for airing!

Another option: instead of a film and arcs, there is a frame made of beams on the sides and board boards on top, and fill the free space inside with spruce branches.

Shelter combined
Shelter combined

Combined frame shelter with spruce branches - the best option for southern varieties in harsh climates

How to shelter grapes for the winter in Siberia - video


Proper shelter of grapes for the winter allows you to grow delicious varieties of this berry even in central Russia, the Urals and Siberia.

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