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The Sphinx grape variety belongs to the table species, and even a novice gardener can grow it, since the plant is unpretentious in care. The flavoring qualities of the berries and the yield indicators are decent, but there are a number of disadvantages. Good fruiting can be achieved by knowing how to properly plant and care for your horticultural crop.
The history of the appearance of the variety
The Sphinx grape variety was obtained by selection at the beginning of the XXI century, its creator was the Zaporozhets V.V. Zagorulko. An interesting fact is that he was a mechanical engineer, and working to get new grape varieties was his hobby. To his credit, it should be said that a significant part of them received recognition and popularity. The Sphinx variety was bred by crossing the Moldavian grape variety Straseni and frost-resistant Timur.
Characteristics and external indicators
The description refers the variety to early maturing table crops. From its parents, the plant inherited the black color of the fruit and the ability to tolerate low temperatures.
The grape variety does well when grown in warm regions. According to breeders, the optimal territories for him are the territories of the south of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. The grape variety tolerates heat and drought conditions well. The ability to tolerate frost makes it possible to grow the Sphinx in cold regions, but it definitely requires shelter and protection from gusts of wind.
The Sphinx grapes received their qualities of frost resistance from their parent Timur. The plant is able to withstand frosts down to -25 C, but in cold regions it is required to provide shelter for it.
The Sphinx grape belongs to hybrid varieties, which should provide increased resistance to various types of diseases, but they are rated as average. Experts estimate resistance to mildew and oidium as 3.5 points on a scale of 10 points.
What does a bush and shoots look like?
Sphinx grape bushes are distinguished by strong growth, strong and vigorous shoots are strewn with large dissected leaves. Bunches in the form of cylinders are formed on the shoots.
Fruits and yield
The grapes have a dark blue color. Their size can reach 30 mm, but in cold summer conditions they can become smaller and lose their sweetness. The shape of the grapes is round or slightly elongated. The average weight of fruits varies from 8 to 10 g. They have a pronounced aroma, dense juicy pulp and sweet taste. The weight of a bunch of berries varies from 500 to 700 g.
Landing the Sphinx
The beginning of work on planting grape seedlings falls on the first days of April, they can be continued until mid-May. Compliance with the deadlines is necessary for the plant to properly root, gain strength and become able to withstand the cold.
Some gardeners practice autumn planting in October, but the risk of grape dying increases.
For grapes, a place protected from gusts of wind is chosen, since drafts are destructive for the plant. It is recommended to choose southern sites. It is permissible to plant seedlings along the walls of buildings. Loamy soils are optimal for shoot growth.
For planting seedlings, the plants form a pit with a depth of 80 cm and a width of 20 cm. The bottom is laid out with a layer of fertile soil 15 cm thick, then a mixture of humus, superphosphate and potassium fertilizer is placed sequentially. Before planting, the seedlings are soaked in water for 48 hours, the root shoots are cut and 3 eyes are left.
The roots of the seedling, when placed in the hole, are carefully straightened, achieving their uniform placement. After falling asleep with earth, the landing site needs to be watered abundantly, for this use 3 buckets of warm water.
Grape care rules
Grape care is quite simple. The secret to getting a good harvest is choosing the right planting site, watering and pruning the plant on time.
Plants under the age of 3 years need watering, which is organized according to certain rules. Each bush should have at least 4 liters, while a small amount of ash is added to the water. During the season, 3 waterings are made:
- the first - after removing the winter shelter;
- the second - at the moment of bud formation;
- the third - after the end of flowering.
Mature grape bushes do not need additional moisture. They require one-time watering in the autumn before being sent under cover, which reduces the risk of freezing of the shoots. After that, it is important to provide timely protection from the cold.
In order to give young shoots the opportunity to get stronger as soon as possible, pinching is carried out. This procedure is also often used to speed up the ripening of berries and make them more sweet. When it is carried out, the upper part of the apical part is removed in the amount of 3 leaves. It is permissible to remove 4 plates in case of its late departure from frost and the need to send nutrients to its restoration.
Thinning and seasonal pruning
The grapes need timely thinning and pruning. The first helps to maintain sufficient air circulation and ensures free access to sunlight on the berries. It is required to remove dry and damaged branches. Excess shoots are cut off not only during the formation of the main bush, but also near the roots.
The first soil enrichment is carried out immediately before planting the seedling in the hole. Further, for 3 years, there is no particular need for additional nutrients. After this time, fertilizing with organic matter or mineral fertilizers is required. During the growing season, the plant is fed at least 3 times, the interval between procedures is from 2 to 3 weeks.
After removing the cover, the soil is enriched with nitrogen fertilizers to give the plant strength and a better green mass gain. During the flowering period, for better formation of ovaries, shoots are sprayed with a solution of boric acid, preparing it from 3 liters of water and 3 g of the drug. During the formation of berries, potassium superphosphate and potassium sulfate are added, and in the autumn, wood ash.
Mulching provides the plant with better growth and increases yields. For this, a 5-10 cm layer of plant materials is provided around the plant. Straw, sawdust and fallen leaves are often taken as a basis. Mulching helps to retain moisture, enriches the soil with oxygen and stimulates the activity of organisms beneficial to grapes, creating a favorable environment for them.
Autumn and spring processing
Correct pruning improves the quality of fruiting and makes the grapes more vigorous. The Sphinx requires work before being sent to shelter for the winter. In this case, parts of the plant are removed, cutting off 4-6 eyes. The bushes are fanned out, leaving 4 sleeves. The advantage of the variety is the lack of tendency to form stepchildren, so pruning does not take much time.
In the spring, pruning is not done, as this will lead to watery eyes. The consequence of this can be the death of the plant or a significant decrease in yield. At this time, only frozen and dry shoots are removed.
Shelter for the winter
When grown in regions with cold climates, grapes require mandatory shelter. Work begins when the temperature reaches +5 C. The shoots are removed from the support, covered with earth and mulch, arcs with agrofibre stretched on them are installed on top. It is important to avoid the effect of debating grapes.
The timing of flowering and ripening of berries
The first fruits are formed by grapes on the 100-105th day. Even fully ripe bunches are able to stay on the vine for a long time.
When to harvest and store crops
The harvest time differs slightly in different regions. In most of them it falls in mid-August, in warmer ones on the first days of the last summer month. The collected bunches can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month. Berries can serve as raw materials for the preparation of raisins and winter preparations. The Sphinx does not have a long shelf life, therefore it is not used for long-term storage.
Diseases and pests - how to deal with them
Infection of plantings is often observed if the rules for caring for the plant are not followed. Observance of agricultural techniques for working with a plant, exclusion of waterlogging and implementation of preventive measures will help to avoid this.
The Sphinx has rather high resistance properties to fungal infections. He quite successfully copes with one of the most dangerous diseases of grape varieties - mildew, oidium. Plantings can be exposed to anthracnose, verticellosis, rot. For the fight, special preparations are used - fungicides.
With bacterial infection, dangerous microorganisms penetrate into the plant and begin to parasitize, which negatively affects the growth of grape shoots. Systemic infection affects the appearance of the plant and berries. Leaves may begin to fade, tumor-like formations and spots may form on the surface, and rot may be observed.
Common bacterial diseases of grapes include necrosis, bacteriosis, and sour rot. Not all bacterial diseases are treatable, for example, cancer infection will require a radical solution in the form of uprooting the plantings and holding time for quarantine.
For grapes, the main danger comes from wasps, goldsmiths, ticks, leaf rollers and thrips. For pest control, targeted drugs are used. Among the most commonly used are Karbofos, Actellic and Fufanon. For prophylaxis, autumn treatment with Nitrafen is carried out.
Sphinx is a grape variety that is quite easy to grow. The early ripening period and the quality of frost resistance allow you to get a good return even in regions with difficult growing conditions. Gardeners often note the crushing of berries, which is associated with a lack of heat and the choice of a place with insufficient illumination. Timely pruning and feeding of the plant will help to avoid this.
Often, gardeners are faced with freezing of grapes. Errors in this case are most often associated with an incorrectly conducted shelter or its late implementation. Excessive warming leads to overheating of the shoots, and insufficient warming leads to the inability of the plant to survive frosts or move away from excessive hypothermia in the spring.