Sofia is a grape beauty from Ukraine. The history of cultivation, possible problems and solutions

Grape growers most often present high yields, good taste and beautiful appearance to varieties. Such qualities are combined in grapes of Ukrainian selection Sofia.

History of growing grapes Sofia

Sofia bred the hybrid form of grapes relatively recently, about 8–10 years ago, by Ukrainian amateur breeder V. Zagorulko. In the work on a new hybrid, the author used Arcadia and Radish Kishmish grape varieties. The result was an early table grape, which quickly gained popularity among Ukrainian winegrowers due to its high yield and excellent marketability. In the southern and central regions of Russia, where winters are not too frosty, Sofia is also grown quite widely. Thanks to the beautiful foliage, which acquires a pleasant yellow color in the fall, Sofia is sometimes used also for decorative purposes.

Sofia grapes in the conditions of Cherkassk - video

Grade description

Sofia belongs to table hybrids and has a very early ripening period (growing period of 100–115 days).

Plants are characterized by strong growth. The vine is strong, bright brown in color, ripens evenly by almost 100%. The leaves blooming at the tops of the shoots are painted in a deep dark green color, there is no pubescence. The shape of the leaves is round, the outline is slightly dissected, the surface may be slightly wavy. In the fall they turn yellow-green.

Sofia flowers same-sex - female. They well perceive almost any pollen, although Arcadia grapes are considered the best pollinator. Some winegrowers, to improve fruit setting, conduct artificial pollination with the help of puff.

Sofia's brushes are distinguished by large sizes, dense structure and solid size of berries

Bunches are formed very large (800–1200 g, sometimes up to 3 kg), conical in shape. The structure of the brush is very dense, so sometimes you have to thin out them to prevent rotting of the berries.

The ovoid-shaped berries are very large (up to 2.8–3.6 cm long and 2.0–2.1 cm wide), their mass reaches 15 g. In appearance, the berries are similar to the parent variety Arkady. The pink skin is quite dense, but when eaten it is almost not felt. A very juicy, fleshy pulp with a pleasant sweet taste and nutmeg smell hides under the skin. Many berries do not have seeds at all, but in the largest ones there are 1-2 seeds, and even those are often soft, rudimentary due to the presence of raisins among the "parents".

Description of the variety Sofia on video

Characteristics of grapes Sofia

Many wine growers are trying to include Sofia in their collections because of the many advantages of this variety:

  • early and plentiful regular crops;
  • lack of peeling berries;
  • excellent presentation and taste;
  • resistance to short heat and drought (with a long hot period of the bunch you need to cover with leaves);
  • rapid formation of the root system on the cuttings and a high percentage of survival of seedlings;
  • increased resistance to fungal diseases;
  • relative resistance to transportation, which is important when growing grapes for sale.

The disadvantages of the variety:

  • exacting care;
  • same-sex flowers;
  • increased density of the bunch, causing the need for thinning;
  • cracking berries in the rain;
  • shedding of berries with overexposure on the bush;
  • low indicators of frost resistance (up to -21 ° C).

Rules of landing and care

Sofia belongs to varieties that require good care, so it is better to take experienced growers for its cultivation.

The key to success in growing is the correct fit.

Planting grapes Sofia

There are usually no problems with the planting of the Sofia hybrid, since the cuttings are perfectly rooted and the root system is growing rapidly.

You can propagate the grapes by grafting in the standard, but as a stock you must choose a strong-growing variety, otherwise the grafted plant may turn out to be weak.

For inoculation, the lower part of the handle is cut with a wedge and inserted into a split stock

For self-preparation of seedlings, well-prepared cuttings (matured, with 4–5 buds) should be put in a jar of water in early February. It is possible to root cuttings in moist, light and nutritious soil.

A “beard” of white roots appears on the cuttings grown in water

Planting seedlings in a permanent place can be carried out both in late spring (last decade of April - early May), and in autumn (September). Considering that the frost resistance of Sofia is not too high, it is better to plant it in the spring, so that the seedlings can take root in the new place by the onset of cold weather.

2-3 weeks before planting, a pit of 0.7-0.8 m in size is prepared (the diameter and depth are the same). A drainage layer (broken brick, crushed stone) is laid at the bottom of the pit, then humus mixed with fertile soil and superphosphate (25-30 g) is poured into the pit to half the depth. The nutrient mixture is covered with a thin layer of soil and allowed to “stand” the pit so that the soil settles.

A layer of gravel at the bottom of the pit will provide high-quality drainage and prevent stagnation of moisture

Sapling roots before planting can be treated with a growth stimulator. If you use purchased seedlings, their roots should be pruned slightly before planting and soaked for 12-24 hours in water.

When landing, you need to be careful not to break the white young roots. Having fallen asleep with earth and carefully compacting the soil, do not forget to water the seedling with 2-3 buckets of warm water.

Planting grapes - video

Growing rules

When growing Sofia, one must not forget about some features of this hybrid. For example, drying out the soil negatively affects the crop. However, too wet, rainy weather also leads to a decrease in yield. Watering should be regular, but not too plentiful.

Many insufficiently experienced growers often make a mistake (as the author of these lines), believing that the root system of the grapes is quite long and you can hardly water it. Indeed, if a garden is located near the grapes, usually the bush extracts the necessary moisture from there. If the distance to the nearest irrigated crops exceeds 5–6 m, then the bush will be stunted and you can forget about fruiting.

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Typically, grapes are watered 4–5 times during the summer: when buds open, before flowering, when ovary growth begins, after harvesting and in late autumn) in dry weather. The amount of irrigation water should be 50-60 liters per bush, for pre-winter irrigation - 120 liters. Water is fed into trenches, cut in half a meter from the stem.

Watering grapes on video

The best option is a drip water supply, which allows you to maintain a constant moderate level of soil moisture.

In addition to watering, grape plants need top dressing. In this matter, Sofia also has its own preferences - it is harmful to the excess nitrogen compounds. Therefore, it is best to use mainly potassium phosphate fertilizers. Top dressing is usually combined with watering. In addition to mineral fertilizers, organic matter must also be added (which, incidentally, contains the amount of nitrogen necessary for grapes). Manure can be bred in water or applied as a thick layer of mulch, which will both retain moisture in the soil and nourish the roots. Do not lay the mulching layer of fertilizers closer than 5-6 cm from the stem!

Feeding grapes - video

Due to the great strength of growth, Sofia needs to be formed and trimmed regularly. Pruned vines in spring and autumn. Spring pruning of fruiting shoots should be short - 4-8 eyes.

You can form a bush in a fan shape on single-row trellises, you can use trellises with a visor or arches.

Vigorous grape varieties perfectly reproduce on a high arch

In autumn, grapes must be prepared for winter. Its frost resistance is insufficient for wintering without shelter. Therefore, the vines must be untied from the trellis, cut off the extra shoots, tied together and lowered to the ground. You can warm the plants with straw, reeds, oilcloth, or just ground.

Vines lowered to the ground need to be tied with straw - this will protect the plant from frost

Protecting Sofia grapes from diseases and pests

Stability of fungal diseases declared by the author of the hybrid Sofia is quite high - 3.5 ... 4 points. Nevertheless, prevention of mildew and oidium is necessary if you want to get a guaranteed harvest. The most suitable fungicides are TILT-250 and Ridomil, although you can use Bordeaux mixture or calcareous broth (ISO).

Preventive processing of grapes - video

Sweet berries invariably attract birds and wasps. Birds can be scared away by hanging long strips of foil (or other similar materials, preferably shiny and rustling) in the vineyard. A mesh stretched around the vineyard also helps.

It is more difficult to get rid of wasps. It is necessary to destroy the nests as they are discovered, to process the grapes with insecticides (this is not the best option, since the processing must be stopped when the berries ripen, when the wasps become more active). The best way to protect against both wasps and birds is to cover each brush with a light cloth bag.

To close each brush with a bag in a large vineyard is hard work, but the crop will not suffer!

Harvesting, storage and use of crops

The harvest of Sofia begins to ripen in the first decade of August and in the southern regions of Russia reaches technical maturity by the end of the second decade. Brushes need to be cut off, not broken off, leaving a “leg” 5-6 cm long.

Sofia tolerates transportation well thanks to the dense skin. It is only necessary to put the brushes in a shallow container as tightly as possible so that they do not “shake” along the road.

You can store the crop for 3-4 weeks in a refrigerator or a cool dark room. Being a table variety, Sofia is well suited both for fresh consumption and for the manufacture of juice, compote, raisins.

Grape juice is one of the most delicious and healthy drinks.

Reviews of winegrowers

Sofia, too, planted only last year a seedling from Zagorulko. Therefore, there is nothing to say. I can only add that its seedlings from those planted in the fall (Sofia, Ivanna, Libya) are the best now growing. In addition, the growth on them was too long, and I shortened them during landing. But he didn’t throw away the scraps, but put them in the cellar to the rest of the cuttings. And in the spring from these scraps (!) On the windowsill I received several more green seedlings. Respect for the quality of planting material.

Vitaliy, Uzhhorod

Variety Sofia gave the second fruiting of the bushes. The variety deserves the best characteristics of table varieties in all respects. Although the bushes were a bit overloaded, the vine was 10-12 mm. ripened by autumn the full length of coinage. The clusters were removed as they matured and were in good demand in the market. When fully ripened, they acquired a slightly pink color. Some clusters reached 2.5 kg. selectively, clusters began to be removed from August 15 to 30. Dnepr city which is on the Dnieper. There is practically no watering. There will be no problems with pollination in your vineyard.

Gaiduk Ivan, Ukarina

Last year, Sofia gave me the first crop. I am very glad. The taste is chic with a touch of nutmeg. The berry is 1.5 times larger in size than Arcadia, clusters up to 1 kg. Vobschem commodity awesome. This year, the inflorescences were thrown out twice as large as last year, and if the weather does not fail during flowering, the harvest will be excellent. Shedding berries I did not have. The density of the clusters on the two bushes growing in me turned out to be different. One bush gave a friable bunch, and the other moderately dense. The consistency of berries and transportability is approximately the same as in Arcadia.

Vladimir Shpak, Poltava region

Sophia I can also add that her substitute buds are fruitful, shoots killed by frost in the sidekick, went substitute with flowers, moreover, large ones. I also found on cuttings after planting in glasses on substitute flowers. Big Growth

Roman S., Krivoy Rog

Sofia is not the easiest grape variety to grow. Beginners should not take up its cultivation. But in the hands of an experienced winegrower, powerful bushes will bring an abundant crop of large, tight brushes of a pleasant amber-pink hue.

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