Harvest early ripe sphinx grapes: advantages and disadvantages

Sphinx grapes grown on personal farms of Russia in Ukraine and Belarus are not among the varieties that can be recommended to everyone: it has many shortcomings. But for a beginner gardener, he is very good, because, giving an abundant early harvest of very tasty berries, it is very undemanding to growing conditions.

The history of the cultivation of the Sphinx grape variety

Sphinx is not the youngest variety, or, as winegrowers say, a hybrid form. It was widely used more than 10 years ago, it was bred by Ukrainian amateur breeder V.V. Zagorulko (Zaporozhye), specialty not related to agriculture.

Viticulture enthusiast V.V. Zagorulko next to his pets

Enthusiast in 1986 graduated from the Faculty of Electronic Engineering of the Engineering Institute, but became interested in viticulture in his young years. Many grape varieties were bred with his hands, and more than a dozen became widely known.

V.V. Zagorulko strives to create varieties characterized by stable annual fruiting, self-pollination, high taste qualities of berries and good transportability.

According to the above criteria, the Sphinx table grapes basically satisfy the preferences of V.V. Zagorulko, although this variety cannot be called its best brainchild: at the same time with a host of advantages, it also has offensive flaws. The Sphinx is the result of the crossing of the well-known Moldavian strain Strashensky and precocious Timur. Strashensky is a large-fruited, very marketable variety, but unsuitable for long-term storage, it is used for quick use and for short transportation. Timur is a white grape, known for early fruiting, ripens in three months, frost and disease resistant.

Strashensky grapes - one of the parents of the Sphinx - in appearance it is very similar

The Sphinx hybrid is a dark grape that stably gives large yields of large berries, ripening in record time. Most suitable for cultivation in the south of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. Cultivated by lovers in Moldova. At the same time, experts say that the Sphinx does not have significant advantages over its ancestors, especially Timur. True, it is noted at the same time that the hybrid is easy to care for, and its cultivation is available even to beginner winegrowers.

Description of Sphinx grape variety

Sphinx bushes are relatively high, characterized by rapid growth, differ in large leaves with a vein in the middle. An important advantage is the complete and early ripening of the vine. Resistant to extreme heat. Frosts also tolerate well: guaranteed temperature - up to -23 ° C, but shelter for the winter, especially in the middle lane, is necessary. At the same time, the variety does not like drafts, therefore it is often grown in greenhouse conditions. Resistant to droughts and major diseases. However, the Sphinx immunity to the most dangerous diseases of grapes is described as average, therefore prophylactic treatment from mildew and oidium is mandatory.

Both female and male flowers are present on the fruit shoots, which guarantees good pollination in the absence of neighbors - other varieties.

Flowers bloom quite late, so the Sphinx is not afraid of possible May frosts. The variety is early ripe, the first berries ripen three months after flowering. However, in other years, the peak of the crop falls at the end of summer, that is, the early maturity of the Sphinx depends on the vagaries of the weather and cannot be considered its indisputable advantage over some other varieties. In normal seasons, the main harvest occurs in mid-August. In warm summers, the sugar content in berries reaches 25%, which undoubtedly indicates the versatility of the variety: it is suitable for fresh consumption as well as for winemaking. However, in the cold seasons, sugar content does not exceed 18%, which, of course, is also not bad. Acidity in this case is 5–6 g / l.

The appearance of berries cannot be considered particularly attractive. Dark blue, they have a round or oval shape, rather large: up to 3 cm in size, weighing up to 10 g. Berries are collected in clusters of conical shape, very large. The mass of the bunch reaches 1.5 kg, but usually from 600 to 1000 g . Unfortunately, as the berries ripen, they must be removed quickly: the clusters are not stored on the bush for a long time, deteriorate quickly and wither.

The Sphinx clusters are large and need strong trellises to hold them

The berries are covered with a strong, crisp peel during cracking. The pulp is dense and juicy. The taste is ordinary grape, pronounced, the characteristic features of the taste are not marked, but a peculiar aroma is described. Productivity for early grapes is very high.

Characteristics of the Sphinx grape variety

So, having become acquainted with the Sphinx grapes, you can give it a generalizing characteristic, noting the main advantages and disadvantages. Unfortunately, not only the first list is solid.

Main advantages:

  • early ripening;
  • high productivity;
  • large size of clusters and individual berries, lack of small berries in clusters;
  • very good taste;
  • frost resistance;
  • ease of cultivation;
  • resistance to spring frost;
  • high adaptation to extreme climatic conditions.

Indeed, the Sphinx grows almost everywhere, except for very acidic soils, in the south it does not require winter shelter at all, it provides rich harvests of very tasty berries with a rich aroma, suitable both for fresh consumption and for various types of culinary treatments, and can be grown in commercial purposes, since early harvest is relatively transportable.

However, unlike many varieties, the Sphinx has something to scold. Its main disadvantages are as follows:

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  • unattractive appearance;
  • cracking berries in case of high humidity;
  • the ability to transport only over short distances;
  • low resistance to mildew and oidium;
  • significant susceptibility of berries to wasps.

Of course, when talking about wasps or cracking, it should be understood that these negative factors can be minimized by good care, but really good varieties are, including those that practically do not require paying attention to insects or excessive risk of moisture in the rain and watering. And the appearance and poor transportability sharply reduce the grade rating of potential buyers. Therefore, the Sphinx should be recognized as a variety grown mainly for personal consumption.

Features of planting and growing grape varieties Sphinx

From the point of view of agricultural technology, the Sphinx is the most common classical covering grape, so its planting and care for it practically do not have any significant features. Rather, on the contrary, caring for the Sphinx is easier than for many other grape varieties. It is perfectly propagated by cuttings, which is why it is very simple to grow a seedling of this grape at home.

The only big minus of this variety from the point of view of agricultural technology is that it is very afraid of drafts, and therefore it is often planted in greenhouses. But grapes in the greenhouse, of course, are not the best option, although they are grown in the northern regions. If we talk about open ground, then when choosing a site for the Sphinx, special attention must be paid to finding a place protected from the winds. It must be a wall of the house or a blank fence protecting the bush from the north winds. On the sides it is desirable to have a large tree, and only the fourth side should be open to the southern rays of the sun. Nevertheless, with all its unpretentiousness, this variety is more suitable for the southern regions, although it is quite winter-hardy.

Greenhouse grape growing is not suitable for any summer cottage, but the Sphinx in the greenhouse will like

Like any grape, the Sphinx loves breathable soil, but is able to grow on any other than very wetland. It begins to bear fruit very quickly: the next year after planting a two-year-old seedling, it is already possible to collect a couple of buckets of berries. It is characterized by drought tolerance: in many regions it requires almost no watering, except for the season of active berry growth.

The best landing date in most areas of the country is the end of April. In the south, autumn planting is also possible - in October, but planted plants for the winter should be well covered. To saturate with moisture, the seedlings brought to the site are soaked in water for a day or two. Even better, if instead of water, take a weak solution of urea (1 tablespoon per bucket). Before planting, it is advisable to dip the roots into a mash of clay, fresh mullein and water.

Of course, a planting pit for spring planting should be prepared in the fall, but first, on the bayonet, shovels with fertilizers dig the entire area around the future bush (three meters in each direction) so that grapes can be fed for several years to come. A pit is dug with dimensions of at least 80 × 80 × 80 cm. There must be a drainage layer twenty centimeters high at the bottom, especially on heavy soils. Drainage can be gravel, pebbles, just coarse sand. Next is a layer of soil mixed with fertilizers (several buckets of manure, half a bucket of wood ash, 400 grams of nitroammophoska), and the layer that will directly contact the roots when planting should be pure fertile soil.

The grapes are planted deeply, leaving only 2-3 buds out. The sphinx grows in the form of large bushes, but they cannot be called giants, so when planting several bushes between them, a distance of 1.5–2 meters is sufficient.

In particularly arid regions, a piece of pipe must be placed vertically in the pit so that the grapes can be watered directly in the root growth zone for the first 2-3 years.

Adult Sphinx bushes will rarely need to be watered. The planting technique is usual - it is good to straighten the roots, fill it with soil, tamp and pour several buckets of water. Mulching around the bush greatly facilitates subsequent care.

In preparing the landing pit, you need to stock up not only with fertilizers, but also with a piece of a wide pipe through which the grape roots will need to be watered for the first few years

The very next year, the Sphinx should bloom and give the first small crop. In order for its quantity to only increase, constant care of the plant is needed, which is not particularly difficult. In addition to watering on demand, grapes respond well to top dressing. Those fertilizers that were put in the landing pit and buried during the preparation of the site will last for 2-3 years. After that, every spring, 1-2 pails of compost should be poured into the holes dug around the periphery of the bush, in the beginning of summer, scatter 1-2 liter cans of ash around the bush and shallowly cover it in the soil. Before flowering and immediately after it, foliar top dressing with solutions of complex fertilizers (spraying on leaves) is very effective. During the loading of berries, top dressing should be phosphorus-potash.

The most important event in the vineyard is pruning. In spring, you can only remove obviously dead vine areas, the main pruning is carried out before sheltering the bushes for the winter. But so that in the fall it would be easy to figure out what's what, throughout the summer you need to break out even short obviously extra green shoots that thicken the bushes. Then by autumn there will be only the main vines, which the Sphinx recommend shortening before wintering so that only 4-6 eyes remain.

Timely breakdown of stepsons and extra green shoots greatly facilitates autumn pruning

In the middle lane in October, and to the south - in early November, grapes must be covered for the winter. The Sphinx is quite frost-resistant, it does not require very warm shelter even in the middle lane. It will be enough, having removed the vines from the trellis, lightly tie them into bunches and cover them on the ground with fir or pine spruce branches. In snowy areas, you can simply cover with sheets of slate, which is enough until the snow falls. And under the snow grapes heat enough. If in the spring it seems that the vine is frozen and does not want to wake up, maybe the Sphinx is cunning, feeling the possibility of a return of frost. Usually he wakes up late, but immediately accelerates quickly: leaves bloom, flowering begins, and there it is not far from the harvest.

Video: Sphinx crop on a bush


I tried the Sphinx in the area Tereshchenko E.K. On a plot of 6 acres, including a residential building, about 150 grape varieties were harvested. The soil is a continuous marl. On the second of August there was absolutely no acid in the taste, but there was not much sugar either. The weight of a small brush was about 500 g, I had already forgotten (the brushes were larger on the bush), the berry was 8–9 g. I liked the flesh, at the same time it was dense and very tender, until I noticed anything like it in other varieties and thought whether to plant the Sphinx as an early blue grape. Viking on August 2 was still sour.

Olga Lug

Let me say a few words about the Sphinx on our personal site: GF Sphinx looks good. The form is vaccinated for the Gift Zaporozhye, bears fruit for four years. Strongly tall, the vine ripens perfectly, with good resistance to diseases and temperatures. If many forms last season barely departed after frosts, then the Sphinx gave a decent harvest. The clusters were up to 1 kg; it matured in the Kuban around August 5–8 - not bad: we have few black varieties at this time. We liked the berries very much: without any taste, but pleasantly refreshing. The pulp is dense, juicy, with a crunch. The berries hung for two weeks after full ripening, did not lose either taste or presentation. For more patience was not enough - ate. Wasps were not seen near the clusters of the Sphinx. When growing bushes of the GF Sphinx, I like the fact that there are almost no stepson clusters on it and the vine ripens very early to the very tips.

Fursa I.I.

But this form suits me. I cut it off with Arcadia, and with the average taste of Arcadia, the Sphinx has already oversaturated. Some berries began to ripen. Aligned clusters, berries from round to ovate. A small pea is present, but it did not stop him from selling “with a whistle” due to a full-fledged taste, and not like other black varieties that are cut unripe after staining. In general, I will increase the number of black berry bushes at the industrial planting.

Igor Zaika

Sphinx - grapes with undoubted advantages, but also not without flaws. It is not very suitable for selling crops on the market, but it is almost ideal for cultivation for the purpose of eating at home: berries are highly rated for their taste, and caring for the bushes is not difficult. Sphinx is included in the category of varieties that can be recommended to a beginner gardener.


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