It’s quite disappointing when the rampantly growing grapevines produce many leaves and vines but do not produce fruits. The failure to bear grapes shows that either ineffective pest and disease control programs were employed or the orchard management practices are poor. Grapes flourish in integrated farming systems. Previously, grapes were produced organically and chemicals were not applied to control pests, diseases, and weeds but the vines produced overwhelming yields. Currently, commercial grape farmers use fertilizers and chemicals extensively for optimum performance.
Why you are Failing as a Grape Farmer
Grape farmers fail due to various reasons such as:
Poor pruning and less sunlight
Vines require constant pruning for optimum performance. The rate of pruning, however, varies depending on the variety. Mostly, lower branches barely produce fruitful vines and hence they should be trimmed. Non-productive vines should be pruned during the cold season to prevent them from shading and flowering during the sunny periods.Grapevines require adequate sunlight especially during flowering, fruit formation, and fruit ripening. Flower buds develop poorly when the sunlight is not sufficient.Exposure to sunlight determines the acidity and tannin structure of wine grapes. High intensity and density of solar rays enhance flavor profiles and color concentrations for wine grapes. When you venture into grape farming without considering the elevation of the garden, the plants perform poorly and produce poor-quality wine ad table grapes with low flavor profiles.
Soil and Fertilizer
Grape vines flourish in fertile, deep, and well-drained soils. Before venturing into grape farming, you should have your soil tested by the experts to determine the nutrients absent in the soil. Vines require constant manuring and balanced fertilizer application. The feeding program employed determines the production of the vines. Excessive application of Nitrogen-based fertilizers forces the vines to grow vigorously, producing more leaves and vines instead of flowers and fruits. In the end, the yields are relatively low than expected. Farmers should devise a fertilizer and manure application program to ensure that they only apply the required amounts of fertilizers.
Flowers and Pollination
Although grapes contain male and female flowers on the same vine, pollinating agents such as wind and insects are required. Even when all factors such as environmental conditions and feeding are taken into consideration, the production of grapevines remains low when pollination is poor. Bees are the most efficient agents of pollination in grape farming. Farmers are recommended to practice bee farming alongside the orchards to enhance pollination.
Pests and Diseases Affecting grape farming
Grapes are susceptible to pests and diseases just like other plants and they need to be eliminated. When pests and diseases are not controlled in time, the plants underperform and a large percentage of the fruits cannot get to the market. When you employ poor pest and disease control programs, it’s difficult to enjoy the profitability of the agribusiness.
Grapes are mainly attacked by pests such as grape mealybugs, aphids, black vine weevils, spider mites, and Japanese beetle.
Grapes are sometimes affected by fungal and bacterial diseases such as:
Fungal diseases that affect grapes include;
- Powdery mildew
- Armillaria root rot
- Leaf spot
Bacterial diseases common in grape vineyards include;
- Crown gall
- Black rot
Re-building soil armor
Extensive use of pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides results in soil degradation. In dry seasons, herbicide and pesticide use should be done at a controlled rate.
Contact oxfarm for soil sampling and best agronomical advice.