Agate Donskoy grapes: how to grow a good harvest
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Horticultural crops are in increasing demand today, which do not require excessive efforts to grow and care. But they make it possible to get a high yield of tasty and healthy fruits. Such crops include the Agat Donskoy variety. An unpretentious and modest grape that grows even in the harsh conditions of the northern climate.
The history of growing grape varieties Agat Donskoy
The Agat Donskoy grape variety was obtained in 1986 as a result of crossing a hybrid form of grapes (Zarya Severa x Dolores) and the Russian Early variety. The breeding work was carried out on the experimental base of the All-Russian Research Institute of Viticulture and Winemaking named after Ya.I. Potapenko (VNIIViV named after Ya.I. Potapenko, Russia). The original name of the variety is Vityaz. Under the name Agat Donskoy grapes were entered in the State Register of Breeding Achievements in 1992.
Agat Donskoy inherited their best qualities from the parent varieties:
- The Zarya Severa variety is derived from the Michurin Seyants Malengra, crossed with wild Amur grapes. This variety is distinguished by an early ripening period (vegetation period - 120 days), high frost resistance (up to -32ºC) and resistance to mildew disease. It is mainly used as a technical grape variety.
- The Dolores variety was obtained from the selection of varieties (Nimrang + Amursky). Its characteristic features are high palatability of fruits, frost resistance, good transportability of the crop.
- Variety Russian early has a very early ripening period (vegetation 105–110 days), fruits with a high sugar content (17–21%), stable good yield, frost resistance up to -23ºC, medium resistance to fungal diseases (mildew, oidium, gray rot).
Photo gallery: parent grape varieties Agat Donskoy
Video: presentation of grapes Agat Donskoy
Description of grapes Agat Donskoy
- The variety is vigorous. The degree of ripening of shoots is high, up to 75–80%.
- The bush has a well-branched, multi-tiered root system. The heel roots are deep in the ground.
- Grape inflorescences are bisexual, which contributes to self-pollination of the bushes.
- Bunches of grapes of medium density, cone-shaped, above average size, weighing from 400 to 600 grams.
- The fruits are round, dark blue in color with a characteristic waxy coating (pruin). The shell of the fruit is strong, edible, the flesh is firm and crispy. The mass of one berry is 4-6 g.
- The taste of the berries is pleasant, but simple, without aroma. The sugar content of the fruits is average - 14-15%. Tasting score 3.8 points out of 5.
The Agate Donskoy variety has bisexual flowers, so it does not need additional pollination. If necessary, it can serve as a pollinator donor for other varieties
The quantity and quality of the crop are in direct proportion to the power of the bush, the strength of its growth. With an increase in the strength of growth, the yield increases infinitely, its quality improves, the size of bunches and berries, the number of shoots on the bush, and the growth of each shoot increase. If the plant is provided with all living conditions, then the harvest cannot be limited by anything.
Characteristics of the variety
Agate Donskoy grapes are early in terms of fruiting, the growing season is from 115 to 120 days. Harvest in the middle lane ripens in late August and early September (in the southern regions - in the twentieth of August). The variety has a high, stable yield. Up to 50 kg of berries can be obtained from one bush when grown in a backyard. This explains the tendency of the bushes to overload the crop, which leads to a delay in ripening and weakening of the bush. For sustainable fruiting, yield rationing is performed: one or two fruit clusters are left on one vine when pruning.
This grape variety has a number of characteristic features. These include:
- unpretentious care;
- good maturity of the vine;
- the number of stepchildren on the vine is small, which makes it easier to care for the grapes in summer;
- high frost resistance, wood and flower buds are not damaged at temperatures down to -26 ° C; thanks to this, adult bushes can not be covered for the winter;
- resistance to the main fungal diseases - mildew, gray rot, powdery mildew;
- excellent keeping quality of fruits; when storing bunches in a cool place in a suspended form, the berries do not lose their taste for 2-3 months;
- versatility of the variety - the fruits are suitable both for fresh consumption and for processing into juices, compotes, wine, freezing.
Due to the coating of the berries with a wax coating (pruin), they retain their presentation for a long time, keeping quality and are suitable for transportation.
Agate Donskoy grapes have an interesting property: the longer the bunch hangs on the vine, the greater their sugar content. Therefore, experienced growers do not recommend rushing to harvest, especially if August is sunny and warm.
Agate Donskoy grapes are propagated by layering, green and lignified cuttings. Due to their unpretentious care, with proper planting, young seedlings take root without any problems. Also, the peculiarities of the variety include a reduced yield of bushes for two to three years after planting. This is due to the process of growing mature wood by the plant. After the final design of the wood, the yield of the bush increases and reaches its maximum values.
Features of planting and growing grapes Agat Donskoy
Due to its high frost resistance, the geography of Agat Donskoy grape cultivation is quite extensive. It is suitable for growing in non-sheltering culture in areas of sheltering viticulture: in the Central, Central Black Earth regions, in the Volga region, the North-West region, as well as in the Urals, Western Siberia and the Far East.
In the general cultivation culture for planting grapes, they choose bright, open areas, well warmed up by the sun and not obscured by tall buildings or trees.
- Vine bushes do not tolerate shading. When planting next to a building, they should be planted from the south or south-west side of the house at a distance of no closer than 2 m. Strong trees should be located on the north, east or west side no closer than 5 m from grape seedlings, shrubs - no closer than 2 m. Rows the vineyard should be oriented from north to south so that the plants are evenly illuminated by the sun throughout the day.
- Lowlands and hollows are not suitable for cultivation, as dampness accumulates in them, and there is a real danger of damage to the vineyards by winter frosts, as well as sudden frosts in autumn and late spring. If the site has a rugged relief, then the grapes are planted on the southern or southwestern slopes.
- Agat Donskoy grapes do not differ in special requirements for the composition of the soil, it grows well on various types of soils. However, the most favorable for him are crushed stone or stony, well-drained and warming up. If the soil on the site is diverse in fertility, then less fertile soil is allocated for the vineyard than for other crops. You should not plant grapes where the groundwater rises closer than 1.5 m to the soil surface. The plant does not tolerate a high content of lime and salts. It is desirable that the reaction of the soil is neutral or slightly alkaline (pH 6.5–7). Good results are obtained by planting grapes in places with deep bulk soil, on backfilled pits, construction sites, places of former construction sites, where the soil contains an admixture of construction waste, rocky debris, sand and decomposed organic residues.
- If you plan to grow grapes as a wall culture, the bushes are planted 1 m from the wall. Brickwork, roofing and walls of houses create a favorable microclimate for the growth and fruiting of bushes.
- Given that grapes are naturally a vine that quickly forms a long flexible stem, they are usually directed to the roof of a building, balcony and other supports. Therefore, the Agat Donskoy variety is good in arched and arbor molds, in wall culture. As a rule, the bush is planted in one place, while its crown with the harvest may be in another place convenient for you. In this case, the territory of the site is used more rationally.
Using the veranda roof for the vine attachment allows the bunches to receive light and warmth throughout the day
We take into account when planting ... If the grapes are heavily shaded by neighbors (grows between trees or bushes), then the harvest on it can be expected for years. The conclusion is this: grapes grow well and bear fruit only in an open place, no plants should shade it from early morning until evening. This is the best option, you need to strive for it as much as possible. After all, grapes can even shade themselves if you leave too many shoots - this fact speaks of how important sunlight is for a grape bush.
The most favorable time for planting seedlings is early spring, before bud break and the beginning of the growing season. In mid-May-early June, when the threat of frost has passed, vegetative seedlings with a closed root system are ready for planting. The growth and development of grapes is highly dependent on the heating of the soil and the surrounding air: the plant goes into a dormant state when the temperature drops below 10ºC. Therefore, it is best to plant seedlings when the soil warms up above +15ºFROM.
Video: planting a seedling with a closed root system
Long-term observations of winegrowers convince: if the soil on the site is fertile, with a predominance of chernozems and sandy loam, then when planting grape seedlings, you should not get too carried away with fertilizing the planting pit. This can provoke the plant to build up the green mass of leaves to the detriment of the formation and growth of future fruiting shoots and flower buds, the so-called. fattening. In this case, clean garden soil with a minimal addition of fertilizers, especially nitrogen fertilizers, is best suited for planting. On top of the nutrient mixture, clean soil should be poured into the planting pit and only after that the seedling should be planted.
If a seedling with an open root system is planted, it should be prepared in a certain way before planting.
- For 1-2 days before planting, it is recommended to keep the seedlings in water (you can add a preparation to stimulate the rooting of Kornevin to the water). This will create a supply of moisture in the shoots and roots.
- On the seedling, choose 2–3 of the most developed shoots (of which fruiting arrows will go in the future). These shoots are cut into two or three buds. The rest of the shoots are removed.
- The main roots of the seedling, which will later become the main nutritional element of the bush, are cut to a length of 15–20 cm. The remaining roots are also removed.
With a high-standard formation of bushes during planting, the distance should be observed: between bushes - from 1.3 to 1.8 m; between the rows - from 2 to 3.5 m.
When planting a seedling, the depth of placement of the root system in the planting hole (about 60 cm) should be maintained, the lignified plant area should be completely in the ground
Piggy bank of experience. There is a direct relationship between the development of the root system and the aerial part of plants. No roots - no harvest! Therefore, the first task of the grower is to grow good roots and protect them from freezing. For this, the bushes are planted at a depth of at least 50-60 cm - away from frost. Even if the seedling is small, with a short stem. In this case, it is better to plant in the spring, but do not fill the planting hole to its full height at once, but do it gradually throughout the summer (or even 2 seasons) as the shoot grows back and lignifies. The soil in the planting pit measuring 70x70x70 cm should be well cultivated with the help of deep transshipment with the introduction of the required amount of organic and mineral fertilizers. If these rules are followed, the root system of the bush will grow powerful, at a sufficient depth, unattainable for frost.
Watering the grapes
Watering is one of the main stages in grape agricultural technology. Annual seedlings especially need moisture. During the first month after planting, they must be watered once a week, provided there is enough rain. Then they switch to watering once every 2-3 weeks. In August, watering is stopped to stimulate the ripening of the vine.
Photo gallery: ways of watering grape bushes
Grapes, as a culture more drought-resistant than moisture-loving, needs rare but abundant watering. The Agat Donskoy variety is early, and for its bushes older than two years, three times watering during the growing season and water-charging (sub-winter) watering in late autumn are sufficient. In spring, grapes are watered during bud break (ten days before flowering) and two weeks after flowering. It is strongly not recommended to water the grapes during flowering, as this entails the dropping of flowers by the bushes. The next watering is done in the summer during the period when the fruits begin to pour and ripen (about 15 days after the previous one). On average, water consumption per bush is 40-60 liters. However, three weeks before the full ripening of the fruits, watering should be reduced, and 7-10 days should be stopped completely in order to avoid cracking of the berries.
Video: watering grapes in summer
In the fall, at the end of leaf fall or after its completion, watering is carried out with water charging. It promotes better maturation of the vine, activates the growth of roots, as a result of which the winter hardiness of the bushes is significantly increased. To maintain the required moisture level in the soil, mulching is used. Mowed green manure (mustard, sweet clover, lupine), peat, humus, rotted straw are used as mulch. A good effect is given by covering the soil under the bushes with a black film or spunbond.
Top dressing of grape bushes
Fertilizing grapes is vital. It is produced annually during the growing season and fruiting, adding the necessary nutrients as the bushes grow and develop, and then the fruits ripen. Top dressing is divided into root (with the introduction of nutrients into the soil) and foliar (with spraying of vegetative organs). In addition to feeding, mineral and organic fertilizers are applied under the grape bushes. The main part of fertilizers is laid when planting a seedling in a planting hole. Then the bush is fertilized after 2-3 years. The best time for fertilization is autumn. Fertilization is combined with deep digging of soil between grape bushes. In the intervals between fertilization, the plants are fed.
Table: root dressing
Video: how to properly feed grapes
Any dressing of grapes is made only at a positive air temperature (as a rule, not lower than +15ºFROM). In spring and summer, top dressing is recommended to be done with nutrient solutions, in autumn - in dry form under deep digging of the soil. All types of dressings are applied according to the area of the trunk circle. Liquid dressing should be combined with watering to avoid scalding the root system. Then the soil under the bushes is mulched. The poorer the soil in the vineyard area, the more often you need to fertilize the soil:
- black soils - once every 3 years;
- sandy loam, loam - once every 2 years;
- light sandstones - annually.
A good effect is given by spraying grape bushes before flowering with a solution of boric acid, and after flowering with zinc sulfate.These treatments strengthen the vitality of the grapes, increase the resistance of the crop to diseases.
Table: foliar feeding
Video: foliar dressing of grapes
Spraying of vines should be done in calm weather, preferably in the evening (after 18:00) or early in the morning (before 9:00).
Pruning and shaping grapes
The grape yield is regulated by the load of the bush. The load of the bush is the number of fruiting shoots (eyes) that are left on the vine directly during the pruning process. If, after a strong trimming, there are few eyes left, then the load will be weak. This will lead to a decrease in yield. Overloading the bush with fruits is also harmful, the plant is weakened, sick and the next year the grape yield may decrease. The optimal value of the load of the bush is determined in the process of its growth and development of the vine. For a two-year-old plant, it is 50% of the recommended rate for fruiting bushes, for a three-year-old plant, it is 75–80% of this rate.
Video: shaping an annual Agat Donskoy grape bush
To obtain a stable harvest, the vine should be pruned annually. In autumn, after leaf fall, the stems are shortened to the level of the 3rd or 4th bud. In a two-year-old plant, four highly developed and healthy shoots are left, and the rest are cut out. Then they are shortened to the 5th kidney. A three-year-old properly pruned bush bears 4 fruiting vines. To build strength, the number of fruit stems is increased to an average of three per vine, with an overall increase in the number of vines. For Agat Donskoy grapes, pruning of fruiting shoots is usually done for 5–8 eyes, but 4-6 eyes are also allowed. An average of 35 to 45 eyes are left on the bush.
Video: pruning grapes on the gazebo
When the green grapes begin to change their color, this means that the ripening period of the fruit begins. At this time, the grape bushes stop growing and the lignification of the bark begins. This process continues throughout August. In this case, young shoots from green turn into brown, which is caused by the maturation of their lower part. A sign of a slowdown in the growth of shoots is the straightening of their tops. During the period of slowing and stopping growth, the so-called chasing is carried out, in which the tops of the shoots with young underdeveloped leaves are cut off. Embossing contributes to the final arrest of the growth of the vine and activates the maturation of wood. For vigorous grape varieties, chasing is of particular importance. With this type of pruning, shoots (especially root) and fattening shoots of annual growth are also removed. If the summer is dry, then minting should be abandoned.
Since the grape is a vine and grows long shoots during the growing season, its biennial and fruiting shoots are fixed on supports. When breeding grapes in a personal or summer cottage, the following support systems are used: trellis, arbor, wall, stake. The most common is the tapestry system.
The trellis is a structure of pillars (reinforced concrete, metal or wood) and wire (preferably galvanized). The shoots attached to the trellis are sufficiently and evenly ventilated, receive the same amount of heat and sunlight. In addition, the location of the stems above the ground creates convenience for the gardener when caring for the plants and harvesting.
Fastening grape shoots to the trellis allows them to develop freely and receive enough light and heat
Recently, the headless capitate formation of a grape bush has become widespread. It is advisable to use this formation if the garden plot is small or it is not possible to grow grapes according to the classical scheme - in rows. Spallerless shaping gives the grower a number of advantages:
- the space of the site is economically used, it is possible to place the bush in any suitable place;
- no vine garters are required, and free hanging shoots grow in length more slowly;
- bunches of grapes are located high above the ground, are well ventilated and receive enough heat and sunlight, which means they are less susceptible to disease;
- the absence of supports and wire for tying shoots reduces material and labor costs.
Video: headless grape shaping
Fight against diseases and pests of grapes
Due to its varietal qualities, Agate Donskoy grapes have an increased complex resistance to fungal diseases. However, for prevention, especially in summer during a period of high air temperature and high humidity, it is necessary to spray the grape bushes with fungicides. The best option is to treat plants with Fitosporin with the addition of Zircon. During the growing season, two treatments with these preparations are sufficient: after flowering during the period of fruit ovary and two weeks after the first treatment. Spraying the bushes should be done in strict accordance with the instructions. Do not process grapes later than 2-3 weeks before harvest.
If, nevertheless, signs of fungal diseases appear on the grapes, it is necessary to immediately spray the bushes with drugs for a specific type of disease:
- from mildew, fungicides Radomil or Amistar are used;
- use Thanos or Profit from oidium defeat;
- gray rot will be destroyed by Ronilan, Rovral, Sumileks.
Photo gallery: signs of the main fungal diseases of grapes
The fruits of Agat Donskoy grapes do not have increased sugar content, so wasps usually do not damage them. If necessary, to protect against wasps, you can spray the shoots with a solution of mustard powder (200 g of powder per bucket of water).
Shelter of grape bushes for the winter
Despite the high frost resistance and non-covering culture, in very severe frosts (especially in the northern regions of cultivation) and winters with little snow, Agat Donskoy grapes require protection of the vine for the winter period. Shelter for the winter for one- or two-year-old seedlings is a must.
Video: sheltering an annual grape seedling
Mature vines protect from the cold winter by bending them to the ground. To prevent the plants from touching the ground, it is advisable to put boards, wooden blocks, non-woven material under them. The vine removed from the trellis and trimmed is carefully twisted and laid on the prepared surfaces, fixing with hooks or arcs. From above, the shoots are covered with burlap, non-woven fabric or polypropylene bags in several layers. You can also use pine spruce branches. In any case, the space inside must be breathable, so they cannot be covered with foil. Wooden boards, slate, linoleum, roofing material or polycarbonate sheets are laid on top of the covered plants. The edges of the structure are securely fixed with bricks or simply covered with a layer of earth. In winter, it is useful to additionally throw snow on the shelter, increasing the height of the snowdrift.
Usually, around the end of October, I remove my grapes from the trellises, prune them, always leaving 3-4 large vines, and on each one - 1 replacement knot and 1 fruiting vine. Weak and crooked shoots coming from the root, I remove, and the shoots that have fruited in the current year are also cut to the fruiting vine, without leaving a hemp. Old and gnarled shoots, with cracked bark, coming from the root, I cut out at the base. After I cut all the grapes, I lay them on the ground, pressing the vines with sticks so that they do not spring. So he waits until spring.
Video: shelter for the winter of adult bushes
Armed with the knowledge gained, it's time to go to a personal or garden plot and choose a place for planting Agat Donskoy grapes. With diligence and patience, you get a garden culture that will delight you with large, ripe bunches of grapes for many years.
My name is Valeria, and I am an electrical engineer by profession. But I really enjoy writing articles on various topics of interest to me: nature, pets, travel, cooking. Over time, it turned into a hobby.
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I thought for a long time which variety to plant. My choice was Agatha Donskoy. Good table variety. In addition, he belongs to the early ones, this cannot but rejoice.
It must be said that Agat Donskoy grapes do not differ in any specific taste. However, it produces a good harvest and is great for making compotes and wine. A particularly tasty compote is obtained from apples and these grapes.
For many years now Agat Donskoy grapes have been growing in our vineyard. The good news is that it does not require special care, and the harvest is always consistently good. We use it to make wine.