Friday, 15 November 2013

HOW TO HARVEST THE SWEETEST GRAPES

THE SECRET TO THE SWEETEST GRAPES
Growing grape vines is an absorbing and satisfying passtime. In just a year or two you can have a well-established vine laden with temtping well-filled bunches and, according to variety, perfect for table and dessert use or for making into decadent wines. Here’s a handy little ‘secret’ designed to enable you to get that little bit extra from your bountiful grape harvest.
Research has shown that a consistent supply of potassium is highly beneficial in building sugar levels in the fruits. And, as we all know, sugar equas a better tasting table grape and a higher alcohol content in any resultant wine made from them. Potassium also helps build a stronger more disease resistant plant so this old and trusted form of plant-feed has emerged as a key factor in succesful grape growing.
Potassium is available in several different forms but it is Potassium sulphate that has proved to be the most beneficial. A traditional Sulphate of Potash feed is what you should be hunting out from the Garden Centre shelf. For the very best results apply as a foliar feed, fortnightly, throughout the growing season, or at least during the key May-August period. It is also important to avoid high-nitrogen fertilizers with Grapes; this simply increases the production of ‘soft’ new growth at the expense of yield, and may also encourage diseases.


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