Grape cultivation: what are the best practices to implement?


In Argentina, the cultivation of grapes reaches a cultivated area of approximately 223,000 hectares. Of this total, 95% of the vineyards are located in the Center-West of the country, especially in the Cuyo region. Here most of the export wines are produced.

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The entry and increased presence of Argentine wines in the main international wine markets are the results of specialization in terms of production and the application of new technologies oriented to the sector, which have resulted in an exceptional product. quality.

As a result of the high demand, grapevine producers constantly seek to optimize the production processes and use more effective practices in their daily work, however, how do it and achieve good results?

The secret is in good practices for growing grapes. A series of recommendations whose adoption contributes to reduce losses and maximize the financial results of your wine company.

1. Appropriate choice of cultivation land

Although the vine plant adapts to various types of environments, the choice of an excellent terroir is essential, this involves soil rich in organic matter, a sunny climate and relief that favors good drainage.

For correct growth, the grapes must be cultivated in rows 50 centimeters wide by 80 centimeters deep. This space will allow them to develop their roots horizontally and vertically.

Another important aspect is to avoid soils with more than 25% clay, ensure the presence of carbonates and analyze the soil to determine the degree of acidity. Most grape varieties grow in soils with pH levels between 6.5 and 7.5, however, there are types of grapes that support a wider range of pH variation.

2. Pattern selection

Properly selecting the pattern directly influences the quality, yield and behaviour of the grape crop.

The adoption of the best pattern depends on the sensitivity of the crop variety to certain conditions such as water and saline stress, resistance to diseases, adaptation to limestone levels and soil pH. In addition to these factors, the choice of the rootstock must also consider the texture of the soil, the presence of previous crops and the natural fertility of the space.

In fact, the correct choice of a crop pattern perfectly adapted to the soil and climate results in a high nutrient absorption efficiency. This reduces production costs and contributes to the sustainability of grape cultivation.

It is important to point out that the capacity of the patterns for nutrient absorption is directly related to the way in which the roots of the plants are distributed in the soil.

3. Climatic conditions suitable for growing grapes

Plant growth is closely related to daylight hours and temperature. In the case of grape cultivation, it is worth noting that the processes linked to plant nutrition are slower at temperatures below 20°C.

As the temperature rises, the plants improve their growth rate and reach maximum yield when it reaches 25 to 30°C. Photosynthetic activity falls again when the crop is exposed to temperatures close to 35°C.

In conclusion, it is recommended that the cultivation of grapes be carried out in areas with a temperature range between 20 and 30°C.

4. Control of water needs

The water demand varies according to the life stage of the crop and taking care of it, this aspect is essential for the plant to grow healthy and have an excellent yield.

During the sprouting period, a water supply of approximately 15 mm is necessary. This value drops to 10 mm in the flowering phase, even a greater amount can affect the development of the flowers.

In the fruit set and maturation stages, the water requirements rise, reaching values between 60-120 mm and 80-100 mm, respectively. Then, at the harvest stage, it should not exceed 40 mm. Indeed, the harvest must be carried out in dry periods so as not to affect the production and quality of the product.

5. Prune at the right time

Pruning is essential to shape the vine and achieve the balance between fruit and foliage to ensure maximum plant growth and production. Regarding the pruning season, the best practice is to carry it out in winter, leaving the plant ready for spring.

In fact, most of the growth is pruned the previous season and a certain number of shoots are left in accordance with the variety of the vine and local practices. In general, a short pruning is carried out, leaving only 2 to 6 branches on the vine for the next season.

Another relevant fact is that by removing the new shoots and the leaves from the base before the fruit set period, the canopy of the plant is opened. This favors the effectiveness of the sprays and the penetration of sunlight.

6. Contribution of growth regulators

Growth regulators are important substances for fruit to grow healthily and have the proper physical and nutritional characteristics. In this sense, we highlight two components: hydrogen cyanamide and gibberellic acid or GA.

Hydrogen cyanamide should be applied before winter pruning, as it favors uniform and early sprouting of the plant. On the other hand, growth hormone, also known as gibberellic acid, must be applied during flowering, this substance reduces fruit set by 30%, favoring the increase in the size of the grape and the development of an elongated oval shape.

7. Planting cover crops

By sowing cover crops it is possible to reduce soil erosion, especially in sandy soils that are very sensitive to wind action. In addition, the presence of these crops significantly reduces the presence of dust in the vine clusters.

But beware! Depending on the soil, it is recommended that the planting of this type of crop be carried out after the roots of the vine are very well rooted in the soil, that is, when the plant is between 4 and 5 years old.

Good practices for better production

Good grape growing practices are the best way to achieve high-quality fruit, both for consumption and for winemaking.

We hope that by reading our article we have clarified your doubts regarding them and you can quickly implement these solutions. The purpose is to optimize the grape growing process to achieve greater benefits and yields. Join our community and comment if you have other good practices to share!

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