Pests and diseases

The Complete Grape Growing System

The Complete Grape Growing System

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The pests and diseases that plague the gooseberry are similar to those that attack the currants. For example, aphids and anthrac-nose (see page 33).

2 In winter, cut back the leaders by one-half. Cut back laterals pruned in the previous summer to about two buds. Cut out diseased and dead wood and growth that crowds the center.

Grapes 1

The art of growing grapes, or viticulture, has a long and illustrious history. The vine grows wild in the temperate regions of North America, western Asia, southern Europe and parts of North Africa and it is thought to have originated in Asia Minor.

The vine is a perennial deciduous climber that clings to supports by tendrils. The leaves are hand- or heart-shaped and 4-8 in in size.

The grapes most commonly grown by home gardeners in the northern part of the United States are the so-called American, or bunch, grapes, descendants of wild grapes. The blue, black, green, red and yellow berries usually have slip-skins (separable from the pulp) and ripen from mid-summer on. They are largely self-fruitful. Although American bunch grapes can be grown from zones 3-10, they do best in zones 5-7.

Muscadine grapes are generally grown in the South (zones 7-9). These form much larger vines up to 90 ft long and produce fruits singly or in loose clusters. Several self-fruitful varieties are available but most varieties are self-unfruitful. Since the fruit of self-fruitful varieties is inferior to that of the self-unfruitful varieties, self-fruitful varieties are best used to pollinate the self-unfruitful varieties.

Vinifera, or wine, grapes are descended from European grapes and are best employed in wine-making. A number of varieties, all with skins inseparable from the pulp, are eaten at table and are considered among the best grapes for this purpose. Some varieties are also used for raisins. All vinifera grapes are self-fruitful, producing berries in extremely large clusters. They grow best in California, but there are numerous hardy varieties that can be grown as far north as zone 6. There are also many new hybrid varieties resulting from crosses of American and vinifera grapes. These combine characteristics of the parents and are therefore difficult to classify.

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