Grape is one of the most remunerative crops of the present times. The total area under Grape in Andhra Pradesh is about 2.76 thousand hectares with an estimated annual production of 58 thousand tons. It is mainly grown in the districts of Ranga Reddy, Hyderabad, Anantapur and Chittoor. In Anantapur, two crops in a year could be harvested due to favourable climatic conditions.
Season and Climate for Grapes
The main cropping season in Andhra Pradesh is February to April. In Rayalaseema region, Ananthapur district, two crops of Anab-e-Shahi is taken per year once in November to December and another in May. Warm and dry weather is ideal for grapes. It is grown successfully in our country at a temperature range from 15O to 40oC and rainfall to 50 to 60 cm the total amount of rainfall is not the criteria but the distribution of rainfall in important for successful grape growing. There should be clear weather about 3-4 months during cropping period. Cloudy weather, high humidity, low temperature and rains during flowering and berry development are detrimental as they are congenial to the spread of diseases.
Soils suitable for grape cultivation
The soils should be well drained. It grows well at pH range from 6.5 to 7.5. The red soils of Telangana called ‘Chalka’ soils and black loamy soils with more of a coarse fraction are ideal for the grape. Sticky clay soils should be avoided.
High Yielding Varieties of Grapes
Important commercial varieties
Vigorous, seeded, very heavy yielder, an average weight of bunch 800g, bunch very large, slightly shouldered or conical, well filled, berries large to very large, oval, pale, excellent keeping quality, low total soluble solids (T.S.S) 16-17%, total titratable acidity 0.45 to 0.56%.
Medium vigor, seeded, medium yielder, bunch medium to large, well-filled berries black, large and elongated, pulp firm high quality, T.S.S. 22%, good shipper, late maturity, uneven ripening.
Grown in Penugonda area in Ananthapur district, medium vigor, seeded, medium yield, bunches small and compact, berries small to medium, spherical, thick skin which separates, dark blackish purple, pulp pale green, T.S.S. 18-19%, titratable acidity 0.8 to 0.9%, good quality.
4.Gulabe (Karachi, Panneer drakhsa, Muscat)
Mostly grown in Tamil Nadu, medium vigour, seeded, medium yielder, bunches small and loose, berries small, coloured, spherical with thick skin, good keeping quality, T.S.S. up to 28% early maturity, uneven ripening.
Vigorous seeded, moderately yielder, bunch medium to large elongated and cylindrical, well filled, berries large and elongated, pale green coloured, good keeping quality, late maturity.
Medium vigor, seeded, medium yielder, bunches small to medium and loose, colour purple to black, berries medium in size and spherical. T.S.S. 21.0%, acidity 0.79 to 0.81%. Resistant to anthracnose and downy mildew diseases.
Seedless Varieties of grapes
1.Thompson seedless (Kishmish, Bedana)
Vigorous, seedless, bunch small to medium, conical to cylindrical, compact, berries small, ellipsoidal, pale, good quality T.S.S. up to 22%.
Medium vigour, seedless and black colour well-filled berries, medium yielder, bunches moderate to medium, T.S.S. 22 to 24 percent, total titratable acidity 0.4 to 0.6 percent.
Medium vigour, seedless and coloured, medium yielder, bunch small to medium, conical with shoulders, compact, berries small, spherical, purplish-black in colour, T.S.S. 22%, acidity 0.48 to 0.5%
Mutant of Thompson seedless. It has got all characteristics of Thompson seedless and yields more.
It is propagated by stem cuttings. Matured canes from productive vines should be selected preferably from the October prunings. Ideal canes are those which are medium in vigour i.e. 0.7 to 0.8 cm in diameter with an internodal length of 8 to 10 cm cuttings of about 25 to 30 cm size with 4 to 5 nodes are selected and they are planted in well prepared flat beds, leaving two nodes above the soil surface. To control insect pests like termites in nursery beds at periodical intervals, treat the soil with heptachlor. The rooted cuttings will be ready for planting in about three months.
The plot selected for planting grape should be well levelled. The land should be ploughed well and raise a green manure viz., sun hemp during monsoon and incorporate in situ in August and September. A bower is erected with stone pillars and galvanized iron wire before planting.
Spacing to be adopted varying with variety, soil and method of training. The most commonly adopted spacing for Anab-e-Shahi around Hyderabad is 4.5 x 4.5 m (500 plants/ha) and for Thompson seedless 3.0 x 3.0 m (1.112 plants/ha).
The planting of rooted cuttings should be taken up only after the erection of “pendal” or bower. One month in advance of planting, pits of 90cm x 90cm x 90cm are dug and allowed to weather. While digging the top half-depth of soil is separately heaped and some trash may be burnt before filling. The top soil is mixed with 50 kg of farmyard manure, 5 kg of castor cake and 3 kg of superphosphate and pit is filled with this mixture. After filling, water is given to pits. The soil in the pit will sink and it should be filled with some more mixture to make it ground level. In the centre of pits 25 g of 2% folidor is dusted at the time of planting. The rooted cuttings are planted in pits without causing damage to roots. The best time for planting is October.
Training is a very important operation in grapes. It helps to maintain the form and spread of the vine which facilitates to carry on operations like pruning, inter-cultivation and spraying and harvesting. The method of the training system to be adopted depends on the variety and its vigour, etc., many systems of training of grapes are adopted but the commons systems followed in India are bower, Kniffin, telephone, trellis and head systems.
Under Hyderabad climatic condition, the performance of the commercial varieties, Anab-e-Shahi and Thompson Seedless is excellent when trained on bower.
Bower system has commonly followed a system of training in tropical India for most of the commercial varieties of grapes since vines are vigorous and due to continuous growth habit, it facilitates the distribution of growing apex at many points and spread of branches horizontally. It is a most expensive system of training. Bower of 2.1 m height is erected using granite stone pillars as supports and galvanised iron wire of 8 to 10 gauge thickness for the mesh.
One vigorous growing shoot is selected nipping off other shoots and this single shoot is allowed to grow up straight with the support of bamboo or plastic wire stake. Cut off all the auxiliary shoots and the main growing shoot is pinched off at 15 cm below the pendal level. Two shoots arising from below the cut are allowed to grow in opposite direction on the wires overhead. These two shoots develop into main ‘Arms’. On the main arm, side shoots are allowed to grow at regular intervals of 40 to 45 cm apart. These side shoots are called secondaries and tertiaries or canes, from which fruiting spurs develop.
The arms and secondaries from which fruiting spurs develop. The arms and secondaries from the permanent framework of the vine. The main arms should be trained towards East and Western direction, so as to reduce damage due to sunburn during summer months, especially after February-march pruning. The entire space allocated for each vine is covered in instalment by intermittent pinching of the primary arms and secondaries not allowing them to grow more than 60 cm at a time. As they grow the shoots are tied with jute twine and all tendrils are removed.
Pruning in grapes
Pruning is a vital operation in grape. Removal of any vegetative part is called pruning. It is done to concentrate the activity of vine in the parts left after pruning and to induce sprouting of the fruitful buds located in the middle portion of canes.
In Andhra Pradesh grape vines are pruned twice in a year once in summer after the harvest of crop i.e. February-April and again in winter i.e. September to October.
In summer pruning canes are pruned to 1 to 2 buds for vegetative growth. The fruit bud differentiation takes place on these shoots 40-60 days after pruning. This pruning is also called foundation pruning or back pruning or growth pruning. All the old leaves and dried shoots are removed.
Vines which are about one year old can be subjected to this pruning. This is done in the month of September and October in Andhra Pradesh for the fruiting purpose. All the mature current season canes are pruned and immature canes and leaves should be completely removed. The level of pruning differs with the variety for
Anab-e-shahi – 5 to 7 buds
Seedless varieties – 5 to 12 buds
Depending upon the thickness of canes pruning is done. If the cane is thicker (0.7 to 0.8 cm diameter) more number of buds and in thinner canes, less number of buds are retained. After pruning the weather should be clear. Otherwise, the new leaves and flower panicles will be damaged by fungal diseases i.e. Downy mildew and Anthracnose which spread rapidly under rainy or cloudy weather conditions.
Manures and Fertilizer required for grape cultivation
Grape is a heavy feeder. The following manorial schedule is adopted in the different years of growth. The dose of fertilizers in kg per plant having 13.5 sp. Meter trailing space is given below.
In both, the seasons prior to pruning the top 15 to 20 cm soil in the basin is dug out and heaped around the trunk. Organic manures are spread uniformly in the basins and then fertilizers are applied and covered with soil. The efficacy of fertilizer is more if it is applied at root feeding zone i.e. at about 15 cm depth and 60 cm away from the trunk. Immediately after application, a copious supply of water is to be given to the basins.
NPK requirement kg/acre of the bearing orchards.
|Organic manures (40%)||80||80||160|
|Inorganic fertilizers (60%)||120||120||240|
Manurial requirement at different stages of growth
|Summer pruning||Winter pruning|
|Before pruning||1-30 days after pruning||60-120 days after pruning||Before pruning||1-30 days after pruning||60-120 days after pruning|
Collect about 200 random Petiole samples (fifth leave from the base) 45 days after summer pruning (flower bud initiation) and analyze for the nutrients. Spray the following nutrients for the correction of the deficiency.
Zinc – spray Zinc sulphate @ 2g/lit.
Magnesium – spray Magnesium sulphate @ 2g/lit or Magnesium oxide @ 1g/lit
Boron – spray Borax @ 1 – 2 g/lit
In shallow red soils around Hyderabad, for Anab-e-Shahi grape about 30-40 irrigations are given in a year. Fully grown up vine requires about 1000 litres of water in winter and 2000 litres in the summer season. Immediately after pruning and application of fertilizer, vines are given 2 to 3 successive irrigations at 3-4 days interval. In winter, irrigation is to be given when the top 5 cm soil (8 to 10 days) is dry while in summer 3.5 cm top goes dry (4-5 days). During berry development stage irrigations are given at weekly intervals and water is withheld 10 days before harvesting to improve quality.
In the case of drip irrigation, water requirement per acre is as follows.
After summer pruning Water requirement (kilo litres/acre)
0 – 40 days 38.4 – 48.0
41 – 100 days 19.2 – 28.8
101 days to till winter pruning 12.0 – 16.0
After winter pruning
0 – 45 days 16.0 – 19.2
46 – 75 days 7.2 – 12.0
76 – 110 days 20.0 – 36.0
111 days to till harvesting 28.8 – 35.2
Intercultivation practices in grape cultivation
The vineyard should be kept clean, free from weed growth. Usually, a shallow digging of 8 to 10 cm depth is done once in 15 to 20 days interval with a spade by manual labour and weeds hand picked. A single bullock is drawn implement, a three tyned harrow can be used for inter-cultivation for loosening the soil and to check weed growth.
Pinching of Shoots
During summer, on back pruned spurs more than 3 to 4 new shoots may be seen growing. Pinch off weed shoots and allow to grow one or two vigorous shoots. When such shoots grow to a metre length the tips are to be pinched off and tendrils are removed. Pinching encourages the growth of sub-canes in Anab-e-Shahi which are more fruitful. Checking the growth by tipping helps in many ways i.e. it provides more light, early cane maturity and leaves become less susceptible to anthracnose disease after the onset of monsoon.
Spraying of 50 ppm Urocil 45 days after summer pruning increases the bud fertility.
Improving the size and quality of Bunches
The fruit size and quality of Thompson seedless can be improved by use of growth regulators like gibberellic acid. The bunches are dipped in G.A. 60 ppm solution at capfall or decapping stage. The yield of this variety increased by about 30% with gibberellic acid. In addition to G.A. treatment, cane girdling is also practised for improving the size and quality of bunches. Removal of a narrow strip of 0.5 to 1.0 cm around the cane is called cane girdling. It is done in the individual fruiting canes in the second and third internode immediately after fruit set.
Harvesting and packing
Grapes are harvested when they are fully ripe on the vine itself as there will not be any further ripening of berries after harvest. Time taken from fruit set to ripening depends on the variety, crop load on the vine and atmospheric temperature.
Usually, the maturity of bunches is judged on the basis of the following conditions. The bunch is ready for harvest when the lowermost berry of the bunch is soft and sweet. On ripening white grapes turn to amber colour while the coloured ones attain characteristic uniform colour with ashy bloom. A seed of the ripened berries becomes dark brown. Further total soluble solids also give the indicative of ripening. Anab-e-Shahi is harvested when it records a brix of 18.0O to 20.0O and Thompson seedless 21.0O to 22.0O.
The bunches are harvested with secature or scissors. Then the immature and rotten berries are removed with the help of scissors. The bunches are packed in wooden or cardboard boxes or bamboo staked baskets. The paper strips are used to avoid damage to the berries.
In India, almost all our produce is consumed as table fruit while in European countries 99% of their produce is used for the preparation of wines and other products like raisins, fresh juice and jams etc. It is fairly a good source of minerals like Calcium, Phosphorus and Iron. The juice is a mild laxative and acts as a stimulant to kidneys.
Pests of grapes
1.Cock Chaffer beetles (Penku Purugu) (Adoretus spp.)
Beetles appear soon after first monsoon shower, feed on leaf lamina leaving the only midrib, severe cases defoliate the vine.
Use light trap, spray Endosulfan or Quinalphos @ 2ml/lit.
2.Flea beetles (Chita Purugu) (Scelodonta strigi collio)
Heavy damage to sprouting buds after winter pruning. Beetles feed on tender shoots and leaves.
Spraying Bordeaux mixture serves as a repellent. Remove the loose bark during the rainy season. In summer ploughing in the interspaces should be taken up. Spray Carbaryl 3g/lit or Monocrotophos 1.6ml or Imidacloprid @ 0.3 ml/lit.
3.Thrips (Rhipiphoro thrips cruentaus)
Suck the sap and make the leaf fade and dry. Infested berries develop scab and quality of fruit affected.
Spray Methyl demeton or Dimethoate or Endosulfan @ 2ml/lit or Thiomixicon @ 0.25 g or Fipronil @ 1ml or Spinosad 0.3ml/lit.
4.Mealy bugs (Pindi Purugu) (Pseudococcus spp)
Both nymphs and adults suck cell sap from plant parts and berries, affected parts coated with sticky honey over which sooty mould develops, affects shoot malformed and quality of bunch much affected.
Rub the trunk with gunny cloth, remove the bark and Swab it with Carboryl 6g + 10g of COC + 1ml Neem oil + 1ml Sandovit/lit. Release predatory beetles such as Cryptolaemus sp. or Pallus sp. @ 8 – 10/plant. Remove the affected branches and bunches in spray Dichlorovos @ 2ml or Methomyl @ 1g/lit.
5.Tobacco caterpillar (Spodoptera litura)
It feeds on tender leaves, in severe cases only the midrib of the leaves remains and completely defoliate the plants.
Pick and destroy the egg masses on the leaves and prune the tips and collect the caterpillars manually. Keep at least four pheromone traps per acre. 1 – 1 ½ feet above the pandals. Spray NPV 250 LE/acre or Chlorpyriphos 2.5ml or Methomyl 1g/lit.
6.Grapevine Borer (Kandum toluchu purugu) (Sthenias gristor)
The adult beetles lay eggs on the bark of trunk or arms by making a slit on bark, brubs make the tunnel in the stems and weaken the vines.
Mechanical removal of grubs in June-August. During March-April insert ½ tablet of Aluminium phosphide or petrol or Dichlorovos into holes and plug to kill the grubs.
Diseases Of grapes
1.Anthracnose (Pakshi Kannu Tegulu) (Gleosporium ampelophagum)
On leaves, small circular spots with a greyish black center and yellow margins are formed. On tendrils and shoots circular light brown and slightly sunken spots are produced.
Cut off all infested plant parts in early stages. Spray Bordeaux mixture 1% or Carbendazim 1g or Thiophinate methyl 1g or Mancozeb 2.5 g or Copper Hydroxide 2g or Copper oxychloride 2.5g or Cropineb 3g or Iprodin 0.6ml or Difenoconazole 0.6ml/lit
2.Downy mildew (Majjiga Tegulu) (Plasmopara viticola)
All the tender parts of vine are infested. First small light pale yellow spots appear on upper surface and whitish downy growth on the lower side. In severe case the entire leaf is affected, turn brown and later drop off, infested panicles turn brown and drop off, fruit becomes grayish, hard and often mummified.
Collect infested leaves, shoots, berries, etc., and destroy. Spray Bordeaux mixture 1% or Mitalaxyl MZ 2g or Cymaxanyl MZ + Mancozeb 3g or Propineb 3g or Phosetyl Aluminum 2g or Phenomedan + Mancozeb 1g or Iprohelicarb + Propinate 2.5g. Don’t use Nitrogenous fertilizers or gibbarellic acids during the severity of a disease.
3.Powdery mildew (Budida Tegulu) (Uncinula necator)
White powdery patches are found on the upper surface of tender leaves, in severe cases entire leaf is covered with powder like substance and leaves become discoloured, stems become grey and turn dark brown, on fruit whitish growth appears which results in discolouration, cracking of fruit or shedding of fruits.
Remove affected plant parts and destroy dust Sulphur 10-15 kg/ha. Spray Wettable sulfur 2g or Microcel 2g or Hexaconazole 1ml or Penconazole 0.5ml or Tridemophos 1g or Pyrochlostrobin 0.5g or Ajaxiprobin 0.5ml or Tevuconazole 0.7ml/lit.
Export standards for grapes
- Thompson seedless is highly acceptable variety.
- Soil pH should be between 6 – 8
- Chlorides should not exceed 3 m.e. in the irrigation water
- Bunches should be free from pests and diseases.
- Uniform bunches with light green colour
- Bunch weight should be 300 – 500 grams
- Berry should have 18 mm diameter
- It should have at least 18O brix
- Bunches should be free from Pesticide residues.
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