Frost-resistant Zilga grapes: features of cultivation

The interest of gardeners in growing grapes in summer cottages is growing every year. Saplings of this plant are easy to purchase in specialized stores and online. In order not to be disappointed, carefully consider the choice of variety. Later varieties require a warm climate for full ripening. In the northern regions, give preference to early varieties with a short ripening period. Get zoned varieties that have proven themselves in your area. Zilga grape bred specifically for growing in harsh climates.

The history of growing Zilga grape varieties

The variety was bred in the early 60s of the XX century by the Latvian breeder P. Sukatnieks by crossing three varieties: the Moldavian Smuglyanka, the Russian Jubilee Novgorod and the Latvian Dviestes zilas (Dvietsky blue). The choice of frost-resistant parents allowed us to create a variety that can grow in harsh conditions and withstand snowless winters without shelter, resistant to disease, with large tasty berries.

Photo Gallery: Parent Varieties

Large berries of the grape variety Smuglyanka simple taste

Small berries with strawberry flavor of Dvietes grape; the bush withstands temperatures up to -40 ° C

The grapes of the Yubileyny Novgorod variety have sweet berries with a nutmeg taste; self-pollinated grapes tolerates frosts down to -30 ° C

Variety Dvietes was obtained with the participation of wild grape Vitis labrusca, which gave it a specific “fox taste”. Zilga inherited a peculiar aroma resembling strawberries from her parent .

Fox grape, "fox berry", is synonymous with the species name Vitis labrusca. Its hybrid is widely known - Isabella grapes growing wild in the forests of the Black Sea region. “Strawberry” flavor is associated with the presence of special essential oils in the skin of the berry. The juice of this grape has antibacterial properties. Berries eaten in large quantities can cause irritation of the oral mucosa.

Description of Zilga grape variety

The winter-hardy variety is successfully grown in Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Canada, Sweden, Norway and Belarus; he can winter without shelter. A short growing season allows you to get a crop in the suburbs, the Leningrad region, in Siberia. A variety of universal purposes, berries can be eaten fresh and made from them wine. Grapes are vigorous, with three-lobed leaves; in the Baltic states it is used to decorate gazebos and terraces.

Varieties that do not need shelter are planted at the arbor

From one bush you can get up to 12 kg of berries. Clusters in the form of a cone, cylinder or lobes are dense, weighing 300 - 400 grams. On one shoot, 2 to 3 clusters can grow.

Oval berries with dense thick skin of dark blue color reminiscent of Isabella grapes. The jelly-like pulp is “packed” in the form of a bag with two to three large seeds.

Grapes of early ripening, the crop can be harvested in late July - early August. The longer the berries hang on the bush, the sweeter they become . If autumn is dry and warm, grapes left on the branches wither and turn into raisins.

Characteristics of the Zilga grape variety

This variety has good prospects for cultivation in the northern regions. It is possible to get a crop in the Moscow Region, Udmurtia, Siberia, the Leningrad Region, and the Urals.

Dense bunch of Zilga grapes with isabel flavor berries


  • Frost resistant. Without shelter, it can tolerate frosts up to - 25 ° C (according to some sources, up to - 37 ° C).
  • Prefers slightly acidic soils.
  • Resistant to mildew, gray rot and oidium. Under adverse conditions, preventive spraying is necessary.
  • Early ripening variety, vegetation period 102 - 108 days.
  • Annual shoots ripen by 85%.
  • Tall, in cold regions needs a lot of pruning.
  • Uncovered, can winter without additional shelter.
  • Self-pollinating, forms bisexual flowers.
  • Large berries weighing up to 4 g.
  • The sugar content in berries is 18–22%.
  • The acidity of the fruit is up to 5 g / l.
  • The taste of berries is “isabile” (“labrusque”, “fox”).
  • Tasting taste rating 7.1 points (out of 10).
  • A variety of universal purpose.

Mildew is downy mildew. The disease manifests itself in warm and humid weather. Oidium is powdery mildew, hot dry weather contributes to its development. These fungal diseases do not have time to severely harm the grapes with a short growing season.

Features of planting and growing Zilga grape varieties

Unpretentious grapes do not have high personal care requirements. The main stages that a gardener must perform:

  • to get a healthy seedling;
  • choose a sunny, sheltered from the wind place;
  • properly planted;
  • periodically feed and water;
  • protect the crop;
  • competently carry out annual pruning;
  • prepare for wintering.

Video: Zilga grapes grow in Belarus

How to choose a seedling

It is advisable to buy a seedling with an open root system immediately before planting in the garden. When purchasing a seedling, pay attention to its appearance:

  • A seedling with an open root system should have more than three strong roots. The root cut is light, juicy.
  • The shoot should be brown, the slice should be green.
  • The shoot length must be at least 10 cm, the height of the seedling with an open root system - at least 40 cm.

Photo gallery: grape seedlings, select and plant

Rooted sapling with developed calcaneal roots

Open root seedlings

You can purchase grape seedling in a container

In Siberia, grapes are planted in tires from a car or tractor

Sapling with an open root system before planting, drip into wet soil in a suitable container. If we buy a seedling in a container, we harden it before planting it in the soil. We stand for several days on the windowsill of the house, then we transfer to the greenhouse, then we put it into the garden for several hours. First we put it in a shady place, then we substitute it under the sun's rays.

Young grape bush can be grown as a pot culture

A young grape bush can be grown in a pot, a capacity of 5 to 8 liters is sufficient. He feels good in the loggia and the greenhouse, the pot with the plant can be exposed to the open air. In winter, the plant is cleaned in a cool basement or dripped with a pot in the garden, covering the vine.


Landing can be done in autumn and spring. In the northern regions, spring planting is preferable. We plant the plant in a permanent place when the threat of freezing passes. In the northwest, this can be done in early June. In autumn, grapes are planted a month before the onset of cold weather.

When spring planting, we prepare the pit in the fall:

  • We choose a sunny place, protected from the wind.
  • The depth of the fertile layer should be at least 70 cm. If groundwater comes close to the surface of the soil, we plant it on ridges.
  • If the earth is heavy, clay, it is necessary to bring sand into the landing pit.
  • We dig a hole 60 cm deep, put drainage on the bottom, fill up fertile soil (garden soil + horse manure + compost), and cover with a dark film on top.

We plant grape seedling in a prepared place

Before planting, remove excess earth from the pit, install an irrigation pipe and plant a plant, gently spreading the roots. The calcaneal roots on the lower end of the seedling need to be deepened 40 cm into the ground. If the height of the seedling does not allow this, leave a hole, which we then fall asleep.

We support the land in the near-stem circle clean of weeds. Grapes do not tolerate the neighborhood with calendula and sunflower, it is beneficially influenced by strawberries, pansies, dill, carrots, radishes and spinach.


Only a young plant needs systematic watering. Grapes grow well on moderately moist soil. If the summer is dry, it must be watered periodically. As soon as the ovary begins to form, watering is stopped.

Pour grapes under the root with a pipe

Grapes do not tolerate stagnation of water. To divert excess water from the near-stem circle, it is advisable to make a shallow groove around the perimeter.

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Top dressing

It is recommended to feed the plant with organic matter every 3 years. To do this, 50 cm from the stem along the perimeter, dig a shallow groove into which we put the rotted horse or cow manure; sprinkle the groove with earth. We do this top dressing in the spring, on one bush you will need a bucket of manure.

After flowering, the plant needs phosphorus, you can make 1 glass of ash under the bush. In autumn, it is good to feed the grapes with ash; the potassium contained in it will help the plant better prepare for winter. We’ll add 300 g of ash under the bush, which is about 3 glasses.

Save the harvest

Sweet berries like to enjoy wasps. In order not to be left without a crop, place traps from plastic bottles with a solution attractive to insects near the vine:

  • water with honey;
  • beer with water;
  • water with vinegar.

Simple grabs for wasps will help preserve the harvest of grapes.

Disease prevention

Although this variety is resistant to common fungal diseases of grapes, mildew and oidium, simple preventive measures should not be neglected, especially under adverse conditions (excessively wet or dry summers).

Photo gallery: fungal diseases of grapes

Leaf affected by mildew

Young vine shoot struck by mildew

Grape leaf and brush affected by oidium

Oidium-affected grape berries

Prevention measures:

  • Trim the dry prolific vine.
  • Remove the weeds.
  • Thin out the bush so that it is well ventilated.

For a season we process twice with a solution of fungicide (Fundazol, Topaz, Maxim, Horus, Abiga-Peak) or Bordeaux liquid (1%). Processing is carried out in early spring and autumn, after harvesting. At the first weak manifestations of the disease, spraying with a solution of soda (0.5%) or a pink solution of potassium permanganate will help.


This fast-growing grape variety needs intensive pruning. Berry clusters are formed on the growth of the current year. In the northern regions, we remove most of the annual and biennial shoots so that they do not suffer from frost. We carry out annual obligatory pruning in the fall, leaving 5 to 7 buds on the shoot. In the summer we pinch off too long shoots and break out the extra ones. A young bush (up to two years) can not be pruned.

Winter preparations

Zilga's frost-resistant grapes are considered non-covering. In the Baltic countries and in the south of Belarus it can be left on trellises; in the suburbs and the Leningrad region, it is desirable to protect the root system by covering it with spruce branches and cut off the shoots as much as possible. This grape is grown in Siberia; more serious measures may be needed there to protect it from frost.

Video: we send grapes to winter in a car tire

Video: correctly cut and cover grapes

You can not cover the vine for the sake of the experiment. The root plant is able to recover from sleeping buds on the underground part of the stem, if its aerial part completely freezes. Do not rush in the spring to completely remove the shoot damaged by frost, it is able to "come to life".

How to accelerate the ripening of grapes

The optimum temperature for the development of grapes is 20 - 30 ° C. A few simple tricks will create comfortable conditions for its cultivation and reduce the waiting time for the crop.

We create comfortable conditions for grapes

  • We form a volumetric bush uniformly heated by the sun.
  • On the north side we install white screens. If the vine grows near the house, paint the wall in white.
  • We maintain a dry surface of the earth, watering through a pipe and installing, if possible, a visor or canopy over the plant.
  • When preparing the pit, we lay boards or logs for thermal insulation.
  • We equip a thermal groove from dark plastic bottles with water, its depth is 20 cm.
  • Mulch the soil in the area of ​​planting with gravel or pebbles. In the spring you can lay black spanbond.
  • In the summer under the bush we lay out CD - discs to reflect sunlight.

Growing in a greenhouse for 2 to 3 weeks will approximate the time of picking berries. Grapes can be planted in a greenhouse with tomatoes, placing it near the north wall.


Nothing in it is good. Not resistant to mildew, the taste is mediocre, typical labrusca, gained 21% sugar in Kolomna, juice and wine are strong allergens, over time everyone starts to itch after labrusca, even those who praise them today.

Victor 55 (Kolomna MO)

Iron grade for northerners !!! Zilga and Juoduppe were pollinated in extreme conditions last year, fog in the morning, rain during the day, cold at night, and at least ... pollinated at 5+. And one of the few ripened, although summer was not a wonderful one. I like the taste, add a couple more bushes.

Gennady Alexandrovich (Udmurtia)

This year I have ZILGA just amazing - the clusters are dense (up to 400 grams), the berries are large, do not rot, sweet (already 19%), the wasps do not hammer, do not get sick, the taste is rich and long, with an original light labrus tone.

Alexander (Zelenograd)

I have been growing Zilga for four years. Never hurt anything. To date, the vine has wagged for 2.5 m. And there are about fifty clusters of clusters on the bush. Of course, they are not big, but still a lot. The wine was made from it last year, without having anything to compare, I liked it, much better than the store. Berries gain sugar until cloying. This is my favorite bush. Of course, the berries are tastier, but Zilga is the most problem-free.


And yet she is ripe! Without any tricks to increase CAT! This year, CAT does not reach 1900 degrees. The first fruiting, left 2 brushes per shoot, did not notice, in some places there were 3 brushes. Zilga pulled everything out. She continued to gain sugar after frosts, killing foliage by a quarter, at average daily temperatures from 4 to 13 degrees. The harshness in taste has disappeared, the juice from the berry is simply sweet. For comparison, Varduva under the same conditions did not mature, although she had a dozen brushes.


Record holder for sustainability grade Zilga. The variety is widespread in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belarus, Sweden, Norway, the USA and Canada. One of the earliest varieties of northern viticulture. Resistant to disease and hardy. We have in Lithuania non-covering, tolerates -35 gr. My sugar content reaches up to 18%. ... Zilga bears fruit well in large formations. The variety is fruitful, gives a large number of fruitful shoots. In Lithuania, it is used for landscaping farm buildings, various arbors, arches. Berries are used fresh and home-made wine.


... I bought Zilgu this summer, the vine has already ripened and the leaves turned red. For the winter I will cover like roses - a tunnel from arcs and lutrasil-60 in several layers, because if a ripened vine can withstand decent frost, then the roots will only reach - 7 degrees.

Irinakir (Moscow)

... grapes of the Zilga variety (Latvian selection) are not sheltered, it is frost-resistant, it finishes the vegetation early. If you have it young, it’s better to remove it from the support for the winter and cover it, for example, with some kind of mat. I simply lower my Zilga to the ground, and I have never frosted everything even without snow shelter. This year I will not shoot at all, only cut.

Riga woman (Riga)

This is my first crop. Zilga and Star B ... It so happened that this year they were left without supervision and care, did not take shelter, did not cut, did not water, did not feed. They collected kg 5. They were almost identical in taste, only Zilga had become sweeter before, back in August, and Star B was collected in September. Everything would be fine, only the bones there are large, that would be such and without pits ...

Valeria (Moscow Region)

They hibernate this year absolutely without shelter, only the vines, Golden Potapenko and Zilga are bent. So let's see how they wake up, how hardy they are.

northerner (St. Petersburg)

Climate changes caused by global warming are favorable for shifting the borders of viticulture towards the northern regions. In the north, the lack of days with positive temperatures is compensated by the duration of daylight hours. New varieties regularly appear, not as demanding for heat as their southern relatives. Zilga winter-hardy early grapes are promising for growing in the northern regions. Subject to the rules for caring for it in the fall, the vine will please a good harvest of berries with a specific "isabelic" taste.


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