Originally Posted by bilbo-in-maine
NW - have you had to contend with any diseases, pests or animal predators
bothering the grapes? If so, do you use sprays or bird netting and other
solutions to drive off the critters? Your training system looks like the Four
Arm Kniffen system - have you trained all your varieties the same way?
Sorry for all the questions - I am impressed and very curious.
The Beta are disease free...
The Valiants are a problem, but have some Bordeaux [Bordo copper] spray to try, seem sanitation helps...keep the soil free of the diseased 'mummies' and dead leaves...and work the soil under the vine. The other new varieties are suppose to be disease free, or near disease free....it limits your choice of varieties, but think it might be a better choice in the long run.
With the 'tender' wine grapes that I am attempting to grow.... I am growing in a fan pattern on the wire panel, no stiff trunk to try to bend over in the fall. So will let new vines grow from the base as the older ones get stiff and hard, so hope to let young supple vines grow up each year.
The hardy wine grapes I will try to train in the 4 arm system like my 'old-timers'.
Birds....Last year the Cedar Waxwings ate all the Mountain Ash berries and didn't leave, they hung around and started to work over the fall raspberries and grapes, I threw some bird netting over the plants...worked great, but 'un-handy' to harvest.
Critters.....had some bunny damage to the young vines....[the bunnies suffered some 'lead' damage]....they are sneaky...have some bunny traps out there too...as well as 3 dogs....the deer haven't bothered the vines and canes, but love fruit trees. Think deer will eat anything you cherish. We are very rural, lots of critters to deal with, even black bears and occasional moose, don't have to beat the wolves from the door, but hear them howl.
I also have learned [the hard way] even with these very hardy grapes that it is best to also have a young vine trained at all times to replace the old gnarled trunk...some of my old trunks split last winter from the freezing/thawing in the spring...as tough as they are....some of them died to the roots...new plants came, but will take 2 or 3 years to grow back.....
So...If you live in a cold area ....always let some young shoots grow up along with your main trunk, just as a future replacement. In the book Northern Wineworks he mentions that too.http://www.northernwinework.com/buy.html
A good book for northern growers.Southern growers probably have other problems to deal with.
Grapes are fun to grow, but you do need some space, full sun, good drainage, good air circulation and time.
BTW...I got 10 gallons of Raspberry/Apple Wine and 6 gallons of Raspberry/Red Grape Wine off of those Raspberry plants in the photo.....planted another row of Raspberries last summer from suckers that continually grow from the bases of the plants....Raspberries make delicious wine!!!! Try making some!!! It screams "Gimmie Chocolate!!!"Edited by: Northern Winos