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Grapes "Zilga" refers to universal varieties with a very early harvest ripening. The growing season takes from 102 to 110 days. Grapes of this hybrid form ripen in the last decade of July or early August.
The breeder P. Sukatnieks in 1964 carried out work on the crossing of several promising varieties and hybrids, as a result of which it was possible to produce Zilga grapes. Variety Smuglyanka, as well as a mixture of pollen from the varieties Dvietes Zila and Yubileiny Novgorod, were used as the parent pair.
This hybrid grows well and bears fruit abundantly not only in the agro-climatic conditions of Latvia, but also in our country.
Grapes of the hybrid form "Zilga" form rather vigorous bushes, on which the annual shoots ripen by 80-90%. The flowers are bisexual, with a guaranteed high rate of self-pollination. The grape cluster is small in size, cylindrical-conical in shape, with a fairly dense structure. Often observed wing formation. The color of the ridges is red. The average mass of grape brush is from 200 to 400 g.
The Zilga grape cluster consists of berries with an average weight of 3 g, which have a slightly oval shape and a pleasant blue color. The pulp has a slight mucous membrane and has a taste with weak "isabelic" notes. The standard sugar content in berries can vary from 16 to 19%. The acidity does not exceed 7 g / l.
Early grape varieties
Advantages and disadvantages of the variety
Zilga grapes were bred as a hybrid form that could form a decent crop of quality berries in the difficult climatic conditions of the Baltic countries. The variety has the following advantages:
- the hybrid form is not damaged by wasps;
- unpretentiousness of grape bushes and the lack of the need to normalize the crop;
- indicators of resistance to damage by oidium and mildew are 4 points, which involves three standard sprayings for the growing season;
- the possibility of growing as a non-covering culture in the southern regions of our country;
- high rates of rooting of cuttings;
- the universality of the use of ripened berries;
- frost resistance of fruit buds up to -29 ° С.
In addition, the variety is characterized by evenness of berries and good taste indicators. These consumer benefits are complemented by the ability to transport and long-term storage of harvested crops.
Zilga grapes are quite unpretentious and undemanding to the soil composition on the site. Seedlings should be healthy, well developed and without visible damage to both the root system and the aerial parts. Before soaking the root system, anti-aging pruning should be performed. In addition, all weak and underdeveloped shoots are subject to removal.
Brief instructions for planting seedlings of hybrid grapes "Zilga":
- planting can be carried out in the spring or in the fall, about four weeks before the onset of a steady decrease in temperature;
- for planting in the spring, landing trenches should be prepared in the fall;
- It is very important to position the vineyard on a certain elevation, with protection from through winds;
- the site should be warmed up by the sun as much as possible;
- a plot with a close location of groundwater is not suitable for a vineyard;
- light soil should be preferred or the existing soil should be supplemented with humus peat and sand with the addition of wood ash at the stage of digging;
- the standard scheme for planting grape bushes of this hybrid form is 3 x 1.5 m;
- grapes of this hybrid form are characterized by great growth power, which implies the mandatory use of support, and, if necessary, the arrangement of drainage.
Plants require sufficiently abundant irrigation during the first week after planting, the volume and frequency of which should be increased in the dry period.
Particular attention should be paid to recently planted, young grape bushes. With proper digging of the soil, mineral fertilizers can be applied no more than once every three years. Organic fertilizers in the form of manure should be applied after a year. It is not recommended to use pig manure for feeding the vineyard.
The load on one bush of Zilga grapes should be from 35 to 45 eyes. Pruning of the vine should be carried out on 5-7 eyes. Experts recommend multi-sleeve, fan-shaped, trellis-forming vineyards. With a large formation from each bush in homestead viticulture, you can get about 23 kg of berries.
Zilga grapes are often cultivated in the southern regions of Belarus without the use of shelter for the winter. The hybrid form is widespread in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Sweden, and is also cultivated in Norway, America and Canada. It belongs to the category of the earliest hybrids in northern homestead viticulture. Harvest can remain on grape bushes for a long time without losing taste and appearance.
The hybrid form of "Zilga" has a large number of admirers who cultivate this particular grape in the garden plots for many years. Gardeners note that even in the wettest years, when the remaining varieties and modern hybrids with declared high resistance show strong epiphytotic mildew, the clusters of Zilga are not affected and remain healthy.
According to many gardeners, this variety is good for winemaking. The wine from this grape has a rich taste and pleasant aftertaste with a slight acidity. The color is thick, bright, the taste of the drink becomes better over time.
How to prune grapes in autumn
If it is necessary to choose a grape variety with fast ripening, high quality berries and stability in adverse climatic conditions, then you should give preference to the popular and well-established hybrid form of “Zilga” for many years. There are no problems with this grape variety both among experienced growers and novice gardeners.