Grape is an evergreen most profitable commercial crop in the world. This berry fruit grows in different climatic conditions and belongs to one of the species of flowering plant genus Vitis. Its cultivation began 8000 years ago in western parts of Asia where most of the grapes are used for producing wine. Later its sweet taste and inebriety has led it to become one of the famous fruit in the world. In India it is mostly grown as a table fresh fruit where Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu holds the major share of production. So, lets see under what conditions does this profitable crop is cultivated.
- According to experts, grape cultivation is well suited for Mediterranean climatic conditions. Usually vines grow healthy in hot and dry conditions.
- The most appropriate temperature would be 10 to 40oC, where the yield would be high with great quality.
- Wet climates are not at all suitable as they lead to many fungal diseases affecting the yield.
- Grape cultivation can be carried in different type of soils but mostly soils with good fertility of pH value 6 to 8 are considered as ideal.
- Well drained and loamy soils with sufficient organic matter are also said to be the best soils for its cultivation.
Varieties and propagation
- There are wide varieties for table fresh fruit crop, raisin purpose crop and wine production crop. Consult the experts and choose your variety based on your type of crop.
- Mostly rooted plants and un rooted cuttings are selected for propagating grapevines apart from grafting and budding.
- In India, February to March period is ideal if grapevine is propagated through rootstocks. But mostly the cultivation is carried during the period of September to October.
- It is better to avoid the plantation during June-July as the most of the crop is affected by different diseases.
- After fine tilting the land, plot beds are made with approximately 110m x 160m, maintaining 2 to 3m road between the rows.
- The plots are leveled according to drip irrigation such that each plant should have equal distribution of water.
- Designing a frame work with light wooden supports and metal bars is necessary for grapevines as this ensures better production with minimal chances of spreading diseases.
- Approximately one foot deep and one foot wide holes are dug to plant each vine. But make sure to fill certain amount of top soil in to the holes as this increases the fertility.
- Grapevines require continuous watering, so irrigation should be done weekly once during summer season, once in three weeks during rainy season and once in 10 days during winter season.
- If the process is carried through dripping method then approximately 50 liters of water is required per vine during summer, 30 liters in rainy season and 40 liters during winter.
- Pruning is important during the initial stage to strengthen the plant, according to farming experts the more you prune the more yield you would get in this crop.
- Also the experts suggest to add organic, inorganic and bio fertilizers twice in a year to ensure healthy production.
- Many fungi, bacterial and viral diseases affect the growth of the crop. There are wide range of control measures in the market in the form of fungicides and pesticides. Just consult the experts and take necessary preventive steps to avoid them.
- Apart from these, the grape clusters are always protected from all weather conditions like hot sun and heavy rains etc.
- Grape is a long validity crop up to 30 years, usually the harvesting process starts in the month of February and goes on till April month.
- At an average seedless varieties give 25 to 35 tons of grapes per hectare in one yield, where as the seeded varieties give nearly 55 tons per hectare.