Starting out in grape farming guide

Grape Cultivation Guide

Introduction of Grape Cultivation

Mkulima, today grapes are one of the very popular crops in the world and one of the most loved fruits here is a tip on starting out in grape farming guide. story by mkulimatoday.

Grapes belong to the family of “Vitaceae” and originated in Western Asia and Europe.

They occupy 16% of world fruit production and here is the starting out in grape farming guide.

The main commercial reasons for the cultivation of grapes include the use at

  • table purpose,
  • export purpose, making wine and
  • making raisins.

With proper care and vine management, one can expect decent profits.

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These profits will come from the commercial cultivation of grapes by supplying to local markets and exporting to international markets.

Organic grape farming is the best bet if you are planning for commercial cultivation.

For many centuries grapes have minted new millionaires in different value chains due to its high demand and superior quality.

Producing countries

Starting out in grape farming guide here is a brief history. It is a crop grown commercially in most of the countries.

The major grape growing countries are Italy, France, Spain, the USA, Turkey, Argentina, Iran, Portugal, South Africa, and Chile.

China occupies the number one position in grape production in Asia.

To do well it usually grows on the perennial and deciduous woody climbing vine.

If not available you can have your own modifications to ensure the plants have enough support as they grow to maturity.

Uses

Consumption of grapes can be eaten as fresh (raw) fruits or used for making juice, jelly, jam, vinegar, wine, raisins, grape seed oil, and grape seed extracts.

Most fruits have excellent health benefits and grapes topmost of the lists.

Since they are a good source of minerals like calcium, phosphorous, iron, and vitamin B.

Health Benefits of Grapes

The following are some of the health benefits of grapes.

  • help to relieve migraines.
  • are helpful in treating Alzheimer’s disease.
  • prevent indigestion.
  • fight breast cancer.
  • prevent eye degeneration.
  • good for diabetic patients.
  • help lowering blood cholesterol.
  • healing kidney problems.
  • relieve asthma.
  • prevent clots in the blood and good for heart health.
  • good for bone health.
  • boost immune power and help fight viral infections.
  • relieve constipation.
  • preventing some types of cancers.
  • good for skin and hair health.

Grape Varieties

The main categories are divided into grapes with seed and without seed.

Table grapes, Raisin Grapes, and Wine Grapes fall under these categories.

When it comes to commercial varieties, there are many improved varieties specific to the region.

Grapes are usually available in three colors;

  • Green,
  • Red and
  • Black.

Selecting a high yielding and disease-free cultivar plays the most important role in the profitable commercial farming of grapes.

The local horticulture department (or) Agriculture University is the best source to find out the suitable cultivar for your area.

Climate Required for Grape Cultivation

Grapes are grown under both sub-tropical and tropical conditions. However, the grape crop prefers hot and dry weather conditions.

Temperature, relative humidity, frost conditions, and rainfall are the major factors that influence the yield in grape cultivation.

Coastal areas are not suitable for grape cultivation as high rainfall and humidity are not suitable.

Grape crop tolerates frost during the resting stage but is very susceptible during the growing period.

The optimal temperature for grape cultivation is 15°C to 40°C and the climate should be clear for 3 months during the cropping period.

Cloudy weather, high humidity, low temperature, and rain during flowering and berry development impact crop growth and yield.

Grapes grow well in the regions where annual rainfall does not exceed 900 mm.

Soil Requirement for Grape Cultivation

Grapes can be grown in a wide range of soils.

However, Sandy to clayey and loamy soils with good drainage and organic matter are ideal for grape cultivation.

Soils having a pH value of 6.5 to 7.5 are best for its growth and good yield.

Salinity in the soil is the major hindrance that impacts the growth and yield of the crop.

The season for Grape Cultivation

Grapes can be grown throughout the year where irrigation facility and low-frost conditions, good temperatures are available.

Land Preparation in Grape Cultivation

Land should be prepared by giving 3 or 4 deep plowings by a tractor followed by harrowing it thrice.

Make sure all the previous crop weeds are removed.

If you are planning for drip irrigation, it is not required to have perfect leveling of land.

Generally, the size of the plot will depend on the type of training system used.

In the case of bower and telephone or “T” trellis, the best size could be 60 meter X 80 meter and 90 meter X 120 meter respectively.

Any micronutrient gap should be filled based on the results of the soil test.

Supplement the soil with appropriate garden compost or well-decomposed farmyard manure (FMY).

Soil should have proper drainage to drain-out any excess water.

Propagation in Grape Cultivation


The most common way of propagation in grape cultivation is thorough hard-wood cuttings.

However, it can be propagated by seed, layering, budding, and grafting and budding methods.

In some situations, the rootstock are planted in the main field and they are grafted with suitable cultivars.

Spacing and Planting in Grape Cultivation

Basically, spacing varies with the cultivar (variety) and soil fertility.

Under organic farming conditions, a spacing of 2.5-meter x 1.5 meters, 2.75-meter x 1.50 meter and 3.0-meter x 1.5 meter should be followed.

For this model scheme, a spacing of 2.75-meter x 1.50 meters with a plant population of 2450 plants/ha should be considered.

Pits of 90 x 90 x 90 cm in size should be dug and filled with soil and well-decomposed farmyard manure (FMY).

Usually, an FMY of 50 to 60 tonnes/ha is sufficient in grape cultivation.

In order to settle the soil in pits, carry out light irrigation.

Generally, a rectangular system of planting is adopted in grape farming.

Irrigation in Grape Cultivation

Regular irrigation should be practiced in grape cultivation.

In the case of drip irrigation is followed,

  • 45 to 50 liters of water in summer;
  • 35 to 40 liters of water in winter and
  • 20 to 25 liters of water in rainy season per vine should be applied.

In the case of flood irrigation is followed,

  • 5-6 days interval during summer;
  • 9-10 days interval during winter; and
  • 18-20 days interval during the rainy season should be maintained.

In case of heavy rains, make sure to drain out the water as soon as possible.

Manures and Fertilizers in Grape Cultivation

Well-decomposed farmyard manure (FMY) should be applied at the rate of 50-60 tonnes/ha during land preparation.

Balanced nutrition and the use of chemical, organic, and biofertilizers is essential to get a good yield every year.

About 750 to 900 N, 450 to 600 P, and 800 to 1000 K Kg/ ha/year should be applied.

Biofertilizers like

  • Azatobacter,
  • Phosphate Solubilizing Bacteria(PSB),
  • Effective Microorganism (EM),
  • Neem cake and
  • vermiwash should be used to supplement the nutrient requirement of the grape garden.

Trichoderma, Azatobacter, and PSB are applied @ 25 grams/vine. Neem cake should be applied @ 1.25 tonnes/ha.

To improve the quality of fruits, a solution of sugar, humic acid, and coconut water should be sprayed at the bud development stage.

Intercultural Operations in Grape Cultivation

Gap filling should be done preferably during one month after planting.

For Uniform new growth, basal cut keeping 2/3 buds should be taken 1 month after planting.

The weeding should be done twice or thrice depending on the intensity of weeds.

The bamboo sticks should be used for vine support and young growing points should be trained on them.

Frequent irrigation along with appropriate fertilizers should be applied as part of the intercultural operation of the grape garden.

Pruning and Training in Grape Cultivation

The grapevines should be trained on a suitable trellis-like ‘T’, ‘Y’, ‘H’, or bower and regularly pruned 2 times a year.

First annual pruning should be done during the month of April to get the new vegetative growth while second pruning to get the crop should be done during the month of October.

While doing April pruning 0 to 2 buds on arm should be kept while doing October pruning 5 to 10 buds on fruiting cane should be kept.

The grapevines should be trained first on bamboo support and then on support – trellis.

A suitable method of training is adopted. Initial pruning should be done only for training i.e. for developing trunk, arm, fruiting, and canes.

Plant hormones can be applied during different stages of growth to increase the fruit set and yield.

Diseases and Insects in Grape Cultivation

Many pests and diseases attack the grapevines during many stages.

Proper plant protection measures should be carried out to control these.

Grapevines are attacked by many pests and diseases.

The common pests in grape farming are thrips, flea beetles, leafhoppers, and mealybugs.

The common diseases in grape farming are powdery mildew, anthracnose, and downy mildew.

Downy mildew/ Powdery mildew: To control this disease, spray Trichoderma, 1% Bordeaux mixture + Dasparni arka + Cow urine

Mealybugs: To control this pest, spray cow dung urine.

Anthracnose: Spraying of Solution of acacia leaves will check this disease.

Thrips: Spraying of the Dasparni area will control these kinds of pests.

Preparation of Dasparni arka:

This can be prepared by adding 25 kg leaves of Neem and 2 kg leaves each of Nirgudi, Kaner, Cotton, Custard apple, Papaya, Castor, Karanj, Gudwel, Drumstick in 200 liters of water.

In the solution, 5 to 10 liters of cow urine and 2 kg of green chilies should be added.

The solution should be kept for 15-21 days for fermentation.

The stock solution is prepared by filtration through a muslin cloth.

The spraying should be done by adding 5 liters of stock solution in 200 liters of water.

Starting out in grape farming guide note:

Contact your local horticulture/agriculture department/agriculture university research center for pests and disease symptoms and their control.

They are the best source for pest and disease solutions in grape cultivation.

Harvest in Grape Cultivation

Harvesting season varies from area to area and variety to variety.

Grape is harvested almost all year-round.

If not all the varieties, one or the other variety is always available at any given time of the year.

Well matured bunches having at least 18° Brix should be harvested

Post Harvest in Grape Cultivation

An about 3 to 4 kg corrugated boxes should be used for packing the grapes.

If you are planning to transport long distances, grape guards, pouches should be kept inside the boxes.

Pre-cooling and use of grape guards should be used for cold storage and export/international markets.

Yield in Grape Cultivation

Grape yield depends on the cultivar and soil type and vine management practices.

On average, 25-30 tonnes/ha/year can be obtained for seedless varieties whereas is seeded varieties, 45-50 tonnes/ha/year can be obtained.

The economic life of the grapevine is about 14 to 15 years and harvesting of fruits can be carried out up to the age of 14 to 15 years.

Marketing of Grapes

Starting out in grape farming guide will need you to be able to sell. Like other fresh produce, one can transport to local markets and in other forms like puree and frozen can be exported to international markets.

Having an agribusiness question? Do you know of a successful agribusiness venture or story that you wish to share? I would like to hear from you. Send me the TIP(s) at mkulimatoday@gmail.com

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