Frost-resistant Azalea - an early table grape variety suitable even for beginners

Azalea grapes are not among the unsurpassed masterpieces: this is one of the worthy table varieties of very early grapes. Due to its high frost resistance and undemanding to growing conditions, it occupies a strong place in the list of varieties grown both in summer cottages and in the form of industrial culture.

History of growing Azalea grapes

Currently, the boom continues, associated with the advancement of grapes to the north, in those regions where earlier the cultivation of these sunny berries was impossible. This caused a stream of scientific research aimed at creating new hybrid forms of grapes with high frost resistance. Especially popular were table varieties, which is, of course, due to the fact that a healthy lifestyle is in fashion, and any good wines have become available in retail chains. Fresh grapes on the market are still very expensive, and every summer resident tries to pamper himself with berries from his own plot.

This is not to say that the appearance of the Azalea berries is outstanding, but for very early varieties this is not the main thing

The creation of new hybrid forms is carried out not only by specialized institutes, but also by amateur enthusiasts, among whom there are several very famous characters in our country. One of them is Vasily Ulyanovich Kapelyushny.

Vasily Ulyanovich was a mechanical engineer, a road worker by profession. He worked on the construction of railways, and then at various Rostov enterprises, for example, Rostselmash. Engaged in viticulture since 1969. It finally turned into a winegrower at the end of the 20th century, when a vineyard of 300 grape bushes was laid on the free lands of the Aksai region. He immediately refused Kapelushny wine varieties and began to deal only with canteens. Since 1991, V.U. Kapelyushny headed the Nadezhda farm, which is based on the varieties Talisman, Nadezhda Aksayskaya, Vostorg, Augustin, Original, Kodryanka and others. The farm grows seedlings of grape varieties resistant to the most dangerous pest - phylloxera.

In the mid-1990s, under the methodological guidance of I. A. Kostrikin and in collaboration with VNIIViV im. Ya. I. Potapenko V. U. Kapelyushny carried out the first crosses of resistant grape varieties among themselves. The first successful hybrids were the Count of Monte Cristo, Crimson, Melina. Most of the hybrids created are based on the crossing of well-known grape varieties, such as the Talisman, Arcadia, Radiant raisins, etc.

Azalea was obtained by pollination of Vostorg red grapes with a mixture of pollen from the varieties Nadezhda Aksayskaya and Tayfi steady. Crossbreeding resulted in a plant with a strong vine covered with beautiful berries. Azalea is an early ripe table grape.

Currently, Azalea can be found in many gardeners and professional winegrowers: high frost resistance has led to the spread of this variety throughout the country. With proper care of Azalea grapes, its owners receive high yields of beautiful and large berries, suitable not only for personal consumption, but also for sale.

Grade description

Own bushes of Azalea grapes, that is, bushes obtained from rooting cuttings of this variety, have medium growth strength. During the growing season, the vine can produce up to two meters of growth. The shape of the bush with natural growth is described as weeping, sprawling. The variety is characterized by good rooting of cuttings and the rapid development of a powerful root system, as well as early and almost complete ripening of shoots. However, many experts advise to plant it on bushes of tall grape varieties.

Few summer residents are engaged in grafting, but in the case of Azalea, this would be useful

The frost resistance of the bush is high: it is noted that after frosts down to -25 ° C, Azalea completely maintains a stable yield and gives berries of an unchanged appearance, taste and in usual quantities.

When growing in the middle zone of our country, sheltering plants for the winter is not required, but as they say, "it is worth blowing into the water." Very frosty winters are now rare, but they do happen. Therefore, the removal of vines from trellises and easy shelter for the winter is hardly worth considering.

Resistance to mildew, gray rot and oidium in various sources is estimated from 2 to 3.5 points, that is, the disease resistance of the variety is higher than average. There is an interesting opinion that "due to the rapid maturation of the bush, the fungi do not keep up with its growth." You can, of course, smile at this way of posing the question, but the fact remains that spraying is only necessary in seasons unfavorable for the grape culture: 1-2 preventive treatments are recommended.

Fruiting begins 2-3 years after planting an annual seedling in a permanent place. The flower at Azalea is bisexual, which is an undoubted plus for summer residents with small site sizes: planting a second bush of any kind for the purpose of pollination of flowers is not required. Azalea is one of the hybrid forms of a very early ripening period: from the beginning of bud blooming to the ripening of the first berries, a little more than three months pass, and after 3.5 months, that is, in the middle - the end of August, the time comes for mass harvesting, the total amount of which is enough high.

The clusters of azaleas grow to large sizes. Their shape is closer to conical. On average, the mass of each cluster does not reach a little 1 kg, but some representatives grow to 1.2–1.5 kg. The crest is small; the packing of berries in a bunch is moderately loose. Irrigation is minimal, that is, small, nondescript berries are practically not found.

Bunches well tolerate long-distance transport, so Azalea is often grown in large agricultural enterprises.

The berries are large, multi-colored, but based on pink color, the shape of the berries is not quite round, rather ovoid, but the elongation is small. The ratio of length to diameter is not more than 10% with an average size of about 2.5 cm. The mass of berries is from 10 to 14 g. The pulp is juicy, fleshy, crispy, of a usual grape flavor. The berries are very sweet: sugar content reaches 23%, and acids - only 5-6 g / l. In this case, the taste can not be called sugary. Thin skin is almost invisible when eating berries.

Berries are able to remain on bushes for a long time without loss of high commercial qualities: both taste and appearance. The variety is practically not spoiled by wasps and other flying insects. Cracking berries in conditions of high humidity is not typical for this variety. The use of berries is universal: they can be eaten fresh, prepare juice, used in other types of blanks. All the noted properties of the Azalea grape variety make it attractive both for summer cottage cultivation and for farms engaged in viticulture for commercial purposes.

Video: Azalea grape harvest on the bushes

Characteristics of Azalea grapes

Based on the above description of the hybrid form of Azalea grapes, we must try to give its general characteristics, summarizing the advantages and disadvantages. In this case, the list of advantages will be longer, but there are also disadvantages. So, among the obvious advantages of Azaleas are:

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  • good taste of berries;
  • commodity appearance;
  • the uniformity of the berries in size, the absence of “peeling” in the clusters: there are practically no small berries;
  • long-term preservation of the crop, including not harvested, but remaining on the bushes;
  • good transportability of bunches: the appearance and taste of berries do not suffer during long transport;
  • very early ripening: according to some reviews, the variety can be considered even superearly;
  • fairly high productivity;
  • bisexual flowers: Azalea does not require the presence in the neighbors of another grape variety serving as a pollinator;
  • resistance to high humidity: lack of cracking of berries during the rainy season;
  • high frost resistance, which allows shrubs in ordinary winters in the middle lane to do without shelter;
  • resistance to mildew and oidium.

However, the overall resistance to fungal diseases and pests is quite average. And if mildew and phylloxera are really very little affected by this variety, then other diseases are dangerous for it as well as for most grape plants.

There are very few obvious flaws of the Azalea variety. The disadvantages experts consider:

  • not too spectacular appearance of berries (well, this, of course, not for everybody);
  • lack of resistance to many diseases;
  • the need for thinning inflorescences in order to avoid overloading the bush;
  • not very large growth force of the bush, forcing the use of Azalea vaccinations on other varieties in order to increase shoot formation and productivity.

Despite these shortcomings, it should be recognized that Azalea is one of the traditional grape varieties grown both in summer cottages and in large-scale farms. The variety is not too capricious, has high frost resistance, is able to grow in the southern regions, and in the middle lane, and in areas with a harsh climate. The early ripening of the crop makes it attractive and commercially.

Features of planting and growing

Experts and those who have already planted Azalea in their area, believe that caring for this variety is very simple. If we consider the characteristics of its planting and cultivation in comparison with other varieties, it should be recognized that they are practically nonexistent. Azalea is the most common modern grape variety, characterized by an early ripening period and high frost resistance of the bushes and marketability of the crop. Despite the fact that the variety is well propagated by cuttings, experts advise to plant it on vigorous rootstocks. As a result of this approach, bushes become more powerful, yield and quality of berries increase. Without considering the intricacies of grafting, since few people plant grapes in summer cottages, let us dwell on how to plant and grow ready-made seedlings.

The self-fertility of Azalea attracts summer residents by the fact that with the small size of the plot, you can not think about the fact that you need to plant several different grape varieties. Pollinators are not required for this hybrid, and the amount of harvest is quite enough for an ordinary average family. Early intake of berries and their good preservation allow you to have fresh vitamins for several months, starting in August. But if you still want to plant other varieties, Azalea does not require that they be far from it: a distance of 2 meters is enough.

When planting a large number of bushes, you can even make a "wall" of them, planting every 2 meters, but in the country there will be enough one bush of Azalea

Like all grape varieties, she needs a lot of sun, so the place on the site should be the most illuminated, but sheltered from the effects of northern winds. The variety grows on any type of soil, but the amount of fertilizer should be sufficient, which means that long before planting, the selected area must be dug up with the addition of manure, ash and mineral fertilizers. When digging onto a bayonet for a shovel, very large doses of fertilizers are not required: for 1 m2 it is enough to add 1-2 buckets of organic matter, a liter can of ash and 50 grams of nitroammophoska. But fertilizers should be well refueling the landing pit, which should be dug at least a month before planting. And since the optimal landing time is the end of April, they dig a hole in the fall.

The size of the pit for the Azalea is standard, from 70–80 cm in all dimensions. On heavy soils, consisting mainly of clay, a drainage must be placed in the pit, which is a layer 15–20 cm thick of broken brick or gravel. On other types of soils, the layer may be smaller, and on sandy soil drainage is not necessary. In arid regions, a vertical pipe should be placed in the pit, which extends outward, in order to deliver water through it to the roots in the first 2–3 years of the bush’s life. A 20-cm layer of fertilized soil should be poured onto the drainage layer: it is prepared from the fertile layer, mixing it with a large amount of humus, ash and mineral fertilizers. And just pure fertile soil is poured above, into which grapes are planted. Planted deep, leaving one or two buds above the ground. After soil compaction and good watering, the well is mulched with any suitable material.

The pipe in the pit is needed so that irrigation water flows directly into the root nutrition zone

Plant care consists of watering, timely top dressing, skillful pruning and - in cold regions - easy shelter for the winter. Watering needs are sufficient, but not frequent, especially Azalea needs them during intensive pouring of berries, and 3 weeks before harvesting, they must be stopped. Watering is carried out about once a month, in the evening hours, heated daily in the sun with water.

In fertilizing, nitrogen fertilizers should not be abused: nitrogen is delivered to the grapes in the form of organics, burying humus near the bushes in early spring or late autumn. But you can make a lot of wood ash under the bushes, especially during the growing season. It is convenient to combine top dressing with watering, but foliar top dressing, by spraying foliage with weak solutions of complex fertilizers, can be done regardless of watering, but always in the evening: before flowering and immediately after its completion. Weeding and loosening for adult shrubs is not very important, but loosening on heavy soils is quite welcome. Mulching the soil around the bushes dramatically simplifies this task.

Azalea has increased resistance to fungal diseases, but it also needs periodic preventive spraying from mildew, oidium and gray rot. It is easiest in the early spring after opening the bushes to treat them with a solution of iron sulfate, and when signs of disease appear in the summer - Bordeaux liquid. The latest pesticides should be used only in serious cases and not during the growth of berries.

Iron sulfate - a reliable protector of the vineyard against fungal diseases

Pruning bushes is a must. Pruning in the spring should be minimal, with the removal of dry and obviously excess shoots. The formation of the bush is carried out all summer and consists in breaking out the extra young shoots and inflorescences, while they are still very small and green. With summer tracking, autumn pruning will be easy. At this time, the shoots are shortened, cutting off unripe areas, as well as cut extra shoots that have grown to fall. For Azalea, pruning the vine for 6-8 eyes is recommended.

After autumn pruning in the north, the vines are removed from the trellis and covered with light materials, optimally spruce or pine spruce branches. Whether it is necessary to do this in the middle lane, each owner decides for himself: the variety can withstand frosts up to 25 degrees, but there are more! The bushes should be freed from shelter around the end of March, with the onset of the first warm days.

Gardeners reviews

In specialized forums, reviews about the variety are few, and even those are not always laudatory, which once again emphasizes that this variety is very good, but it can not be attributed to outstanding.

GF Azalea in our area bears fruit for the second year. The form is resistant to diseases. In extreme cases, I did not even see signs with standard preventive treatments of the entire vineyard. Vine ripening early and along the entire length. Grapes GF Azalea ripens in the area or a little earlier GF Arcadia: about August 10 in the Kuban. Berries 8-10 grams of green with a pink rose and spring plaque. It so happened that I did not begin to lighten the clusters due to the heat and the color of the berries almost did not change even after a month. Those berries that were exposed to the sun's rays were pleasant warm yellow with a pink. But the clusters were small on the bush, although the shoots were powerful. At first I was upset: maybe I was to blame for something, I didn’t finish it ... But when at the Exhibition in August 2010 near Kapelyushny V.U. I saw the same size - calmed down ... The taste of the berries are very sweet with liquid flesh and dense skin, which perfectly preserved all this crop from wasps.

Fursa Irina Ivanovna

This season, Azalea practically didn’t stain ... A small pink rose on the side ... and that’s it. I don’t come to try it, I’m waiting for ripening. :? Today there were visitors in the vineyard, and among them I got a fan of Azalea. So he picked a berry for a test. He is fully ripe! Even the bones are brown! Sugar is high, there is no muscat or some raisin in taste. What disappointed is the flesh is somewhat liquid. The clusters are small (the bush is cut back in the fall for growth) and the berry is not large, about 10 g. I didn’t see any diseases, the bush is clean, but strong weak growth (fed for slaughter!) One joy, ultra-early!

Liplyavka Elena Petrovna

My azalea is root-bearing, the growth force is rather modest, though the seedling was still dead. The clusters are small, the berries are about 10 g (+ -). I almost didn’t get the pink color again, I didn’t even come to try the berry. Very sweet, I would like to drip a little sourness. The bone is brown. But the presentation is not, the feeling is green. The skin is dense, it accentuates when eating. The flesh is liquidish ... There are no complaints about stability

Elena Petrovna

The Azalea grape variety is not difficult to care for: in most of our country, bushes do not even need to be covered for the winter. The early ripening of delicious berries allows us to consider Azalea as one of the promising varieties for both personal purposes and for sale. Компактные кусты, не требующие опылителей, устойчивые к морозам и большинству болезней, характеризуют сорт как весьма перспективный для выращивания на дачных участках.

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