[NAFEX] grape growth habits

Hélène Dessureault interverbis at videotron.ca
Fri Mar 13 15:43:38 EDT 2009

If you have lots of wind your trellisses should be parallel to the dominant wind not accross it, so that wind runs down the rows. Apparently in windy areas, it makes a big difference for hardiness and production. (This opinion is based on reading a book on the introduction of white grapes in South Africa, at the turn of the century).

You did not mention your climate zone. The height of your grapes is dependant on climate. In Southern France for instance, the wine grapes are trelisses fairly high (5 to 6 feet), while in the areas around the river la Loire south of Paris but further north as far as climate goes, the wine grapes are trelisses to grow low (3-4 feet), while in Canada (let's say zone 5) some varieties are layed down on the ground under the snow for winter. (This opinion is based on having visited many vineyards all over France and seeing how the Italians in Ottawa are growing their Sicilian grapes).

This is what comes to mind reading your post.

Good luck!

Hélène, zone 3-4 north of Ottawa.

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Mark and Alisha Fehringer 
  To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org 
  Sent: Friday, March 13, 2009 11:11 AM
  Subject: [NAFEX] grape growth habits

  Hi all,

  Last spring I put in 100 grape plants as rooted cuttings.  They are all American or French Hybrids.  I am now getting my trellis up.  I am finding lots of conflicting information on the growth habits of particular cultivars.  Basically it is a vertical, upright habit VS. a trailing, drooping habit. Descriptions from different sources often have very opposite opinions, and some cultivars don't have much or any information readily available.  Does anyone have some first hand information?  I have Lon's book, The Grape Grower.  I just need to know if I should train to the bottom wire and let them grow up, or train to the top wire and let them hang down.  We have lots of wind, so I think if a variety could go either way, it might do better if allowed to droop down rather than trying to stand up against the wind. Would that make sense?
  Cultivars include DeChaunac, Aurore, St. Pepin, St. Croix, Foch, Frontenac, Edelweiss, Esprit, Seyval Blanc, Lucy Kuhlman, Swenson White, Canadice, Concord, Reliance.


  Mark Fehringer


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