Crystal: all about growing a popular grape variety

Grape varieties are divided into dining and technical. The crystal belongs to the latter category, but this does not mean at all that it is suitable solely for the preparation of wine. Most technical varieties are sweet due to the high sugar content, juiciness and characteristic unique taste, easily recognizable by gourmets. Together with frost resistance, these advantages are enough to provide the Crystal with steady popularity among Russian gardeners, including those who are not interested in winemaking.

Description of Crystal grape varieties

Crystal is a grape variety native to Hungary. It belongs to the category of technical. Breeders specially bred grape varieties that successfully combine acidity and sugar content. It is this feature of technical varieties that makes them ideally suited for winemaking. In terms of taste, they are not much inferior to canteens, but the latter have significantly larger fruits and bunches.

Crystal grapes do not look very presentable, but do not become less tasty from this

Among the ancestors of the Crystal are the varieties Challoci Lajoche, Villars Blanc and Amursky. He inherited taste and sugar content from the first two (Hungarian), and unpretentiousness and cold resistance from the last. Crystal is recommended for cultivation in the North Caucasus region by the Russian State Register, but practice shows that it successfully survives and bears fruit in territories with more severe climates - in the Central region, in the middle zone of Russia and even in the Urals. True, in this case, shelter for the winter is necessary.

Amur grapes - one of the closest relatives of the Crystal, from which the latter inherited frost resistance

The appearance of Crystal grapes is rather ugly, but the fruits are distinguished by excellent taste, they have a juicy and delicate pulp with a high sugar content. Because of this, the juice turns out to be very thick, even sticky. The berries are small, weighing 1.6–2 g in the form of an almost regular ball with a diameter of 5–7 mm. The skin is white-green with a bluish-gray “wax” coating. It is thin, but dense, so the fruits crack quite rarely. In those places where the sun falls on the berries, the skin may acquire a golden or yellowish-pink hue.

Crystal grape wine is praised not only by amateur wine makers, but also by professional tasters

Crystal brushes, which is typical for all technically varieties, are small. Their average weight is 160–200 g. In seasons especially favorable in terms of weather, their weight can increase to 320–350 g. The shape of a brush resembles a cone placed on top, and does not differ in special density. Ripeness reaches 85–90% of the set berries.

Grapes Crystal belongs to the early grades

Crystal grapes ripen in the middle or end of August. Since the appearance of fruit ovaries, 110–115 days pass. If it is not planned to make wine from it, it is useful to give the berries a little more hang on the vine - this will make them sweeter. Winemakers do not welcome this, because the taste of the finished product becomes less saturated and rich. But overexposure is also not worth it - the clusters will begin to dry out. Harvesting is recommended starting from the lowest brushes.

Crystal grape bushes are not high, but they differ in growth rate. The leaves are medium-sized, saturated dark green in color, smooth. Shoots yellow-beige with a slight reddish undertone.

The crystal has an interesting peculiarity - on the same plant leaves and strongly dissected, and almost whole leaves can be located almost nearby.

The leaves of Crystal grapes can be of different shapes, including on one plant

Advantages and disadvantages

Among the main advantages of the Crystal grape variety, which ensure its steady popularity among gardeners, stand out:

  • general unpretentiousness in leaving. Growing the Crystal is even the power of a not too experienced gardener. This variety is put up with not the most ideal climatic and weather conditions. In addition, the seedlings are relatively easy to take root, well tolerating the stress associated with the transplant, quickly move to growth;
  • resistance to diseases typical for culture. Crystal rarely suffers from true and downy mildew. It practically does not become infected with rot, even if the summer is cool and rainy. And to gray rot has a genetic immunity;
  • cold resistance. The variety tolerates temperatures up to -28 ... -30 ºС without much damage. This allows you to grow it in Russia, and not only in the warm southern regions and in its European part, but even in the North-West region and the Urals (subject to shelter for the winter);
  • productivity. From 1 m², following the recommended planting scheme, 5–6 kg of berries are removed. Under the condition of artificial pollination, this indicator can be further increased. The ripened clusters do not deteriorate, the berries on them do not crack and do not fall. The crystal can act as a pollinator for other grape varieties;
  • high sugar content and juiciness. This is a characteristic feature of all technical grape varieties. The sugar content in Crystal berries is at least 18% (more often closer to 20%), juice yield - 68–72%. Together with excellent taste, this makes it a worthy competitor to many table varieties;
  • universality of use. The crystal is not only suitable for making wine, although professional tasters very much praise the taste of sherry from it. In addition to eating fresh, the berries can be dried, juice, compote, jam, other homemade preparations can be made;
  • growth rate and ease of reproduction. If radical pruning is performed annually in the autumn, leaving no more than six “eyes” on each shoot, next year there is an intensive growth of the vine and a substantial increase in yield. With regard to reproduction, in the vast majority of cases, not only seedlings, but also grafted cuttings successfully take root, even if rooting stimulants are not used.

Crystal grape fruit are universal to use.

The few flaws of Crystal grapes can be attributed to relative. Most often among them are called not too presentable appearance of berries and brushes. It is also worth noting that fruits with a high sugar content invariably enjoy special attention from birds and insects. Characteristic for the Crystal and low mobility. But the taste of berries in the process of transportation does not suffer.

Wasps attracted by the aroma of grape juice spoil the berries

Landing

Crystal, like all technical varieties, is characterized by the fact that in the vast majority of cases, planting material quickly and successfully takes root. The planting procedure begins with the selection of a suitable seedling. They are purchased exclusively in nurseries or specialty stores. Hand-made buying at a market or agricultural fair is a big risk. Not the fact that you will get exactly the desired variety. It is impossible to even guarantee that it is a grape.

The nursery in which the seedling is bought should be located in the same area as the infield, or to the north. Such grapes adapt better and faster to the local climate and weather conditions.

A quality seedling is the key to a future plentiful harvest

The main criterion that should be followed when choosing a plant is the state of the root system. It must be developed, the presence of at least three roots with a length of more than 10 cm and a diameter of 3-5 mm is mandatory. Healthy roots are smooth, elastic, brownish green on the outside and white on the cut.

Ideally, you need to buy a seedling with a closed root system. Such plants better tolerate transplantation if carried out by the method of transshipment, without destroying the earthen coma. But then it is impossible for them to visually assess the state of the root system.

You can plant grapes in autumn and spring. The first option is more often practiced in southern regions with a warm mild climate. If you plant seedlings in late September, then until the first frost will remain about two months. This time is enough for the plant to adapt to new living conditions.

Landing in spring is the only option for temperate regions. The weather there is unpredictable, colds come unexpectedly and not always in accordance with the calendar. Over the summer, the seedling will grow strong enough to successfully survive the first winter in a new place. Lignified specimens are planted during April or in the first half of May, green ones in late May or early June.

Grapes for harmonious development need warmth and sunlight (the more the better). In the shade, the crop does not ripen, the berries become sour. Therefore, for the seedlings, an open place is chosen, but it should be protected as much as possible from cold drafts. Ideal, for example, is a place closer to the middle of a gentle hill whose slope is oriented south or southwest. At a certain distance from the landings, a natural or artificial barrier should be located that provides the necessary protection. It is not recommended to plant grapes closer than 5-6 m from any fruit trees.

For planting grapes choose a sunny place with protection from the wind

Absolutely inappropriate place - any lowland. In the spring, melt water stagnates there for a long time, and moist moist air throughout the season. Both that, and another can provoke development of root rot. Also, the Crystal negatively refers to groundwater that is close to the surface. It is advisable that they lie at least 1.5 m underground.

The root system of grapes is quite developed, so the depth and diameter of the planting pit should be at least 80 cm (for light sandy soils - at least 1 m). In addition, it protects the roots from freezing in winter. At the bottom, a 5–6 cm thick drainage layer of expanded clay, crushed stone, and pebble is mandatory.

Planting pit for grapes should be deep enough, prepare it in advance

Then, three layers of a fertile substrate (chernozem, humus or just soddy ground) with a thickness of about 12-15 cm are formed in the pit, separated by fertilizers. 180–200 g of simple superphosphate and 130–150 g of potassium sulfate are added twice. Mineral fertilizing can be replaced with sifted wood ash (2.5–3 l). All this is tamped, watered abundantly (50-60 liters of water), then cover the hole with material that does not allow water to pass through.

If the pit is being prepared in the spring, it needs to stand for at least two weeks; a hole is digged under the spring landing in the fall.

Grapes are planted only when the soil warms up to 10–12 ° C, and the air temperature does not fall below 15 ° C during the day for 7–10 days. You can focus on folk signs - the flowering of bird cherry, dandelion, blooming leaves on birches.

Blooming bird cherry means that the soil warmed up enough to plant grapes

Landing procedure:

  1. About a day before planting, the roots of a seedling are soaked in water heated to 23–25 ° C. You can add a little potassium permanganate (to a pale pink hue) to disinfect it, or a biostimulant (Kornevin, Zircon, Heteroauxin, aloe juice, succinic acid) to increase immunity and better adapt to new conditions. Then you need to trim the roots, shortening them by 1.5–2 cm.
  2. The roots are dipped in a mixture of powder clay and a solution of potassium humate. Correctly prepared mass by consistency should resemble a thick cream. Need to let it dry.
  3. The seedling is lowered into the pit so that most of the buds are turned to the north, and the “heel” of the root is oriented to the south. Annual plants are arranged vertically, two-year-old plants (from 25 cm high) - at an angle of about 45º to the soil surface. Curving up roots neatly straighten.
  4. A piece of plastic pipe of small diameter (about 5 cm) is dug into the soil so that one end of it is directed to the root system of the seedling, and the second rises by 8-10 cm above the soil surface.
  5. The pit is neatly covered with small portions of soil (a mixture of black soil or fertile turf and large river sand in a 1: 1 ratio), periodically compacting it. It is not necessary to compare it with the surface of the earth. In the end, you should get a hole with a depth of 7-10 cm.
  6. Shoots are shortened, leaving 3-4 lower “eyes”. The seedling is abundantly watered, spending 35-40 liters of water. The soil on the surface is compacted, tightened with a black plastic film. A cross-shaped hole is cut for the seedling, for the first 2-3 weeks it is covered with a cut-off plastic bottle, a glass cap. When he starts to grow, the shelter can be removed.
  7. Water the plant through the dug drain pipe, for which a hole is also made in the film.

The planted grape seedling should remain in the hole with a depth of 7-10 cm

Autumn planting is practically no different from spring. The only thing that needs to be done additionally is to fill a hill from the ground or peat chips at the roots of the plant with a height of about 10 cm and mulch a trunk circle with a diameter of about 0.5 m.

Crystal biennial grape seedlings, unlike annual grapes, are planted in the ground, placed at an angle to the soil surface

The grape planting scheme depends on the purpose of its use. If you plan to make wine, the distance between the plants is 75–80 cm. Table grapes are planted at twice as long intervals. Between the rows leave a minimum of 2 m (preferably 2.5–3 m). The correct layout of the plot for grapes is very important - the plants will receive enough nutrition, evenly lit by the sun. They are also provided with good ventilation - this facilitates their care and is an effective preventive measure that helps to avoid the appearance of many diseases and pests.

The distance between the vine bushes depends on the purpose of using the fruit.

Be sure to provide a place for support. The simplest option is a regular trellis: between the posts, a thin wire is stretched horizontally in several rows at a height of about 50 cm, 80 cm, 120 cm, 150 cm. All new shoots are tied to the support exclusively in a horizontal position. Only in this case they will grow and bear fruit evenly. If this is not done, only the uppermost “eyes” will develop.

Tapestry is required for any grape variety

Grapes in the garden require a lot of space, but between the bushes it is quite possible to plant other low plants, for example, vegetables, spicy herbs. Their root system is superficial; therefore, they are not competitors for grapes whose roots go into the soil 4–5 m deep.

Video: how to plant grapes correctly

Cultivation Tips

Technical grape varieties are much easier to care for than any variety from the canteen category.

Watering

Grapes are a tropical plant, so he loves moisture. But only young specimens under the age of 2 years need frequent and plentiful watering. They are watered immediately after planting. Then the same rate (35–40 L) is spent on the plant every 7–10 days for the next three months.

Only young grape seedlings are watered abundantly and often

For adult plants, abundant watering is harmful. During the season they are watered a maximum of 4 times, spending 15–20 liters of water. In the autumn, after the end of fruiting, the so-called water-charging irrigation (70–80 l) is carried out, unless the weather is cold and rainy. Also, the plant needs moisture when the leaves bloom, during the formation of fruit ovaries and about a month before the expected harvest.

Watering must be stopped a week before flowering. Otherwise, the buds will fall off, the ripening of the crop will greatly slow down.

Most often, grapes are watered using a system of pipes dug into the ground, this helps to deliver moisture directly to the roots that go deep into the soil

An unsuitable method of watering is sprinkling. It can provoke the development of many pathogenic fungi. Grapes react negatively to wet leaves. Therefore, ideally, it is advisable to place a visor above the trellis to protect it from precipitation. It is best to water the grapes by the drip method or through special drainage pipes dug into the ground.

Raindrops remaining on the leaves and fruits of grapes can trigger the development of rot

Fertilizer application

Crystal does not have special requirements for top dressing. It is enough to fertilize at the beginning of the growing season and after fruiting.

In the first case, top dressing should contain nitrogen. Urea, ammonium sulfate, dry ammonium nitrate (15–20 g / m²) are scattered in the near-stem circle. Alternative - the same amount of fertilizer is diluted in 10 liters of water, the solution is used for irrigation. Once every 2-3 years, humus, rotted manure, compost (10-15 l / m²) is introduced.

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Humus - an effective fertilizer for grapes

In autumn, grapes are fed phosphorus and potassium. You can use superphosphate (25-30 g) and potassium sulfate (10-15 g) in dry form or as a solution.

A natural alternative is sifted wood ash (1.5–2 L).

Wood ash - a natural source of potassium and phosphorus

There are also complex fertilizers designed specifically for grapes. The most popular of them are Master, Florovit, Kemira, Mortar, Novofert, Plantafol. The solution prepared according to the instructions is sprayed with leaves before flowering and 1.5–2 weeks after the formation of fruit ovaries.

Раствор любого удобрения готовится строго по инструкции

Winter preparations

Виноград Кристалл по сравнению с остальными сортами является исключительно холодоустойчивым, но в регионах с умеренным климатом, не слишком подходящих для выращивания этой культуры, рекомендуется подстраховаться и утеплить его корни.

Виноград Кристалл отличается хорошей морозостойкостью

Для этого в середине осени приствольный круг тщательно очищается от растительного мусора и мульчируется торфяной крошкой, перегноем. Нужно создать слой толщиной не менее 10 см. У самого ствола насыпают холм высотой 20–25 см. Молодые растения в возрасте до трёх лет желательно накрыть целиком, используя для этого подходящие по размеру картонные коробки, набитые соломой (перепревшей, в свежей часто селятся мыши), опилками, клочками газетной бумаги.

Можно соорудить подобие шалаша из нескольких слоёв мешковины, натянутых на каркас.

Молодые саженцы винограда Кристалл на зиму желательно укрыть полностью

Если есть возможность, побеги снимают со шпалеры, укладывают на землю и укрывают лапником. Также можно натянуть сверху любой пропускающий воздух укрывной материал. Как только выпадет достаточно снега, его нагребают на растения, создавая сугроб. В течение зимы он неизбежно оседает, поэтому придётся 2–3 раза подновить конструкцию. Одновременно обязательно нужно разбивать образовавшуюся на поверхности жёсткую корку наста.

Лапник хорошо защищает виноград от зимних морозов

Весной укрытие снимают только тогда, когда температура воздуха установится на отметке 5ºС. В регионах, где возвратные весенние заморозки — не редкость, сначала можно проделать в укрытии небольшие отверстия для вентиляции. Если о похолодании известно заранее, за сутки или двое до этого растения опрыскивают раствором Эпина. Эффект от такой обработки длится 8–10 дней.

Характерные для сорта болезни и вредители, защита от них

Виноград Кристалл обладает неплохим иммунитетом, он достаточно редко страдает от болезнетворных грибков. Тем не менее о профилактике забывать не следует. Дважды в год (за несколько дней до цветения и после плодоношения) растения опрыскивают раствором фунгицида, приготовленным по инструкции. Это могут быть как давно и хорошо зарекомендовавшие себя бордоская жидкость, медный купорос, так и более современные препараты (Хорус, Топаз, Абига-Пик, Купрозан, Скор).

Бордоскую жидкость можно купить или приготовить самостоятельно

От большинства вредителей хорошо помогает раствор Нитрафена (20 г/л). Им обрабатывают растения в самом начале периода активной вегетации, когда листовые почки уже набухли, но ещё не распустились. В течение лета примерно раз в месяц можно применять настой древесной золы, раствор кальцинированной соды, коллоидной серы.

Основная проблема для садовода — птицы и осы. Их очень привлекают чрезвычайно сочные ягоды и характерный аромат. Защитить посадки от пернатых можно, укрыв растения прочной мелкоячеистой сеткой. Иные способы (пугала, шумовые отпугиватели, блестящие ленты, зеркала) имеют кратковременный эффект.

Сетка надёжно защищает виноград от птиц

Лучший способ избавиться от ос — найти и уничтожить все имеющиеся на участке гнёзда. Также неплохой эффект дают специальные феромонные и самодельные ловушки. Самый простой вариант — подвешенная рядом с посадками ёмкость, наполненная сахарным сиропом (разведённым водой мёдом или вареньем).

Weeding and cultivation

Почва в приствольном круге нуждается в регулярном рыхлении. В идеале это нужно делать каждый раз после дождя, но если не получается — хотя бы 6–8 раз за сезон. Прополка осуществляется по мере необходимости. Сэкономить время, затрачиваемое на неё, поможет мульчирование.

Опытные садоводы рекомендуют раз в 1, 5–2 недели «прочёсывать» сформировавшиеся виноградные грозди обычной малярной кистью для удаления мусора. Чистые аккуратные грозди выглядят эстетичнее и намного реже болеют.

Pruning

Обрезка — обязательное условие обильного плодоношения. В противном случае зелёная масса сильно разрастается, завязи частично опадают, ягоды мельчают и сильно теряют во вкусе. Стоит отметить, что оптимальная нагрузка на взрослое растение — не более 60–65 «глазков».

Любую обрезку винограда проводят, используя только чистый, остро заточенный инструмент

Весной удаляют сломавшиеся или вымерзшие в течение зимы побеги. Радикальная обрезка в это время не рекомендуется из-за того, что все нанесённые растению раны заживают очень плохо, обильно выделяют жидкость — пасоку. Она заливает «глазки», которые из-за этого «закисают», не могут раскрыться или гниют. Можно лишиться не только урожая в этом сезоне, но и всего растения.

Молодые побеги весной растут очень быстро. По достижении ими длины 2–3 см их обламывают. Второй раз это делают, когда они дорастут до 12–15 см. Это помогает сделать нагрузку на растение в будущем более равномерной. Те побеги, что достигли длины 60–70 см, привязывают к шпалере. Чтобы их не травмировать, используют специальную обёрнутую бумагой проволоку или вымоченное в воде мочало.

Формирование виноградного куста — достаточно сложная процедура

В течение лета следят за появлением «пасынков», регулярно обрезая их. Также удаляют неудачно расположенные побеги, загущающие куст, препятствующие его равномерному освещению и нормальной вентиляции. У взрослых экземпляров прищипывают верхушку по достижении ими высоты 170–180 см.

Основная обрезка винограда Кристалл проводится осенью, примерно через 2–2, 5 недели после того, как опадут все листья. Важно успеть до наступления первых заморозков. После них древесина становится очень хрупкой, можно сильно навредить растению. Саму процедуру проводят при температуре воздуха не ниже -3ºС.

На молодых саженцах оставляют 4–8 наиболее развитых и крепких побега, укорачивая их сразу над четвёртым или пятым «глазком». У взрослых растений полностью очищают от поросли нижнюю часть ствола и многолетних побегов на высоту до 40–50 см. На тех, что сформировались в этом сезоне, удаляют все «пасынки», верхушки прищипывают, укорачивая побег примерно на 10%.

Любая обрезка проводится только остро заточенным и продезинфицированным инструментом. Лучше всего использовать для этого секатор подходящего размера — наносимые им повреждения минимальны.

Видео: обрезка взрослых кустов винограда

Gardeners reviews

Год на год для Кристалла не приходится, в этом году было много неполных гроздей. Сорт для своего назначения хороший. Можно и поесть, но шкурка и косточки не позволяют это делать культурно.

_Anton

В Екатеринбурге Кристалл в условиях теплицы и жаркого лета созрел к 20-м числам августа. Сегодня сорвал первый сигнальный урожай — шесть кисточек в общей массе 350 г. Рад безумно, все-таки первый урожай неплохого винограда. Вкус понравился всей семье, виноград ушёл «на ура». Косточки внутри ягоды зрелые и, кстати, вообще незаметны при поедании. Лозы мощные, по 4–5 м. Вовсю идёт вызревание древесины. Надеюсь, что в следующем году урожай будет уже полновесным. Что касается вкуса Кристалла, то как раз вчера был интересный эпизод. Отмечали юбилей сестры. На столе был виноград двух сортов покупной. И все, не сговариваясь, утверждали, что свой виноград, выросший на даче (а это и был Кристалл), вкуснее.

AndreyS

For me, Crystal is interesting in the first place as a potentially non-covering variety, and the quality of the berries is not bad. In frosty winter, the seedling did not freeze, which indirectly confirms the high cold resistance. I have two young bushes, one is grafted on Rusball, on it there were berries one and a half times more than on the root. Taste, smell silky.

Saksens

The crystal began to inflate the berry. The abundance of moisture is clearly like, Amur blood affects. The bush is six years old. Always stable with harvest, ripening and ripening. Tasty, stable, winter hardy. There would be a place, I would plant a row on white.

Vadim Utkin

The crystal in my area is one of the earliest and sweetest grape varieties, and since it is also resistant to diseases and pests, it has decent winter hardiness, it can only be kept by these parameters. This season, he carried out only preventive treatments, did not feed, did not standardize, the bush pulled easily by a pair of brushes on the shoot, the total collection from two three-year-old bushes (but planted a two-year-old) was about 15 liters. Ripened for a week next to the growing Platovsky, he accumulated more sugars, hung ripe for almost two months, without a loss of quality - the nine-year-old granddaughter who was a guest was eating him every day. Naturally, nothing was left for juice, much less for wine. Impressions of the variety are the most positive. In all respects, this is a technical grade, but since it has excellent taste qualities, it is really early, it is eaten from the bush in my conditions.

Yuri Semenov

Indeed, the Crystal grape variety has many advantages, but there is one significant minus - it quickly loses acid in the process of ripening. This is a problem for the winemaker, as the wine becomes “flat”, so I removed it from my assortment.

Algerd

Grapes Crystal belongs to the technical grades, it is considered very early. In our Volgograd region, it came in handy. The grapes are of medium height, and the berries are oval. White-pink color. They have a conical shape, rather dense and tasty. I like this variety for its sweetness and juiciness, its flesh is delicious and its skin is thin. Crystal grapes can withstand frosts down to -29ºС. Grapes practically do not get sick, it is resistant to viral diseases. I spray it with Bordeaux liquid twice a season: autumn and spring. Crystal grapes we mainly eat. This variety produces tasty and sweet wine. I use it to make juice, which I drive through a juicer. The juice turns light yellow, sweet and rich.

Tutsa

Crystal is an early grape variety that belongs to the technical category. But in terms of taste, its fruits are not only inferior, but often surpass popular table varieties. There is nothing complicated about caring for a crop. The crystal stably and abundantly bears fruit, suffers little from winter cold, has immunity to most diseases typical of grapes. All this makes the variety almost ideal for cultivation in Russia.

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