Grapes “Witches' fingers”: description and care of the variety

Witch Fingers is one of the youngest and most popular varieties of grapes. Every year, dozens of winemakers around the world successfully settle this variety on their own site, and this is not surprising: its fruits differ in a unique shape, as well as exquisite taste features. This article will examine the main distinguishing features of this grape, as well as the features of its cultivation.

Breeding History and Breeding Region

The Witch’s Fingers grape was developed relatively recently, in 2002. The authors of the variety were American scientists from the California Institute of Vin. They managed to combine radically different varieties of grapes. As a result of painstaking work, scientists were able to cross local Californian plant varieties with all kinds of Mediterranean species. So a new type of grape appeared, characterized by large berries of a unique shape. In addition, the plant has absorbed only the best properties, as well as manufacturing qualities without any genetic manipulation, which makes it absolutely safe for health.

Grade description

The plant belongs to the elite grape varieties. “Witches' fingers” differ in the characteristic shape of the bush, as well as the leaves, which must be taken into account when buying a seedling. Otherwise, there is a high probability of buying a similar, but less elite hybrid with low quality fruits.

Did you know? The cultivation of grapes began in the Neolithic, about 10 thousand summers ago. That is why this plant is considered one of the oldest agricultural species known to man.


This plant looks quite impressive - its bush is large, quite tall and branched. The vine is powerful, ripens well. Leaves of medium size, saturated green hue. The leaf blade is divided into 3 or 5 characteristic blades. The bush blooms abundantly, hermaphroditic flowers that can self-pollinate develop on its surface.

The duration of the active vegetative period of the plant is about 120-125 days, due to which the grape clusters ripen well even in temperate and northern climates. Large loose clusters weighing up to 1.5 kg ripen on the vine. They have the right conical shape, the berries on the bunch are evenly spaced.

Berries are the main virtues of Witch's Fingers. They are quite large, weighing up to 10 g, they are characterized by a very elongated shape. In their form, they resemble small peppercorns of hot pepper, but at the same time they differ in a rich blue-violet hue. In the phase of full ripening, this shade is more saturated, up to almost black.

The peel is soft, but dense, crisp, it is characterized by a light waxy coating of white color. The pulp is dense, fleshy, but juicy. The taste of berries is specific, but harmonious. They are sweet, with moderate acidity, often have a ripe plum flavor and a distinct apple and pear aftertaste.

Did you know? The first hybrids of grapes appeared on Earth as far back as the Paleogene period (about 60 million years ago). Thus, this plant arose on the planet long before the appearance of the first ancestors of man.


Witch fingers are most often used for dining purposes. Despite the fact that the variety is distinguished by excellent qualities, while winegrowers are not able to use the plant for production purposes. Fruits are most suitable for fresh consumption, however, all kinds of grape products from berries also have high taste indices. That is why the variety is often used for the preparation of compotes, juices and wine drinks.

Pros and cons of the variety

  • The main advantages of "Witch's Fingers":
  • high productivity;
  • increased frost resistance;
  • unique fruit shape;
  • excellent aromatic and flavoring properties of the crop;
  • unpretentiousness to the conditions of detention;
  • the variety is resistant to major diseases and pests of the culture;
  • the crop is not damaged by wasps and other insects.

  • The main disadvantages of the plant:
  • the bushes are excessively tall, which complicates the care of the vine;
  • grapes require constant and timely care;
  • fruits are often attracted to the site of birds and small rodents;
  • high cost of seedlings.

Features of grape planting

Grapes are planted in early spring or late fall. Spring planting is more preferable - it causes instant rooting of seedlings, which by the end of the season contributes to obtaining a branched bush. Autumn planting also has advantages: it best helps to keep the plant until the spring thaw, without creating special conditions. In addition, in this way more effective and faster rooting can be achieved (if the sprout succeeds in overwintering safely).

Despite the fact that the variety “Witches' fingers” is unpretentious to the living conditions and frost-resistant, for its cultivation it will be necessary to create special conditions on the site. This grape, like related varieties, belongs to heat-loving crops, so it is best to plant it on the south or south-west side of the site. Plantings must be on a hill, as in the lowlands the grapes will freeze and undergo a lack of lighting.

Since the variety belongs to tall representatives of the flora, it will require a lot of space for its development. Bushes are planted away from trees and large buildings, as well as shrubs. In addition, it is necessary to observe a certain space between plants in the case of mass planting of bushes - between individual seedlings should be at least 3 meters.

Learn more about when to plant grapes.

Grape planting is carried out only in previously prepared areas, for this:

  1. Approximately 14 days before the estimated date of disembarkation, recesses of 80 × 80 × 80 cm are made on the site.
  2. A drainage layer about 15 cm thick is laid at the bottom of such holes; gravel, small gravel, or broken brick can play its role.
  3. On top of the drainage, 2/3 of the hole is covered with well-fertilized soil, prepared from a mixture of extracted soil and humus or manure. Additionally, such mixtures enrich 50 g of superphosphate, which increases the rooting activity.
  4. Further, fertilizers are covered with soil, after which the site is well moistened with water. Then, a small hill of soil remains is poured at the proposed landing site.
  5. The prepared area is left alone for 2 weeks - during this time the soil will acquire the necessary structure, and will be saturated with all kinds of nutrients.

Planting seedlings of “Witch's Fingers” do this:

  1. Before planting, seedlings are activated - for this, their root system is soaked for 24 hours in a solution of manure (1:10) or Zircon.
  2. On previously prepared landing zones, deepenings of 60 × 60 × 60 cm are made, and then 10–12 liters of water are poured into them.
  3. After the water is completely absorbed into the soil, a seedling is placed in the hole, and then the roots are densely sprinkled with soil. Planting is carried out so that at least 4 buds remain on the seedling above the soil surface, and the total length of the aerial mass is at least 15 cm.
  4. At the end of planting, the beds are abundantly watered.

Video: planting grape seedlings

Growing and further care

The process of caring for the variety in question is rather laborious, but not complicated. Regular attention and care will make it possible to get not only large and tall, but also well-bearing bushes. For this, the vineyard needs to create an optimal microclimate, conduct timely pruning, as well as top dressing.

Watering and feeding

In spring, watering is carried out once a month, in summer, the frequency is increased to 2 procedures per month. The last time the bushes are watered in late autumn, for 2 weeks of preparing the bush for wintering. Use only clean, well-defended water for irrigation. It should not be cold, so it is heated in the sun to the temperature of the natural environment.

Important! After watering, the root ring of the bush is necessarily mulched with wood ash, old bark or pine needles - this helps to avoid instant loss of moisture from the soil.

“Witches' fingers” respond well to regular feeding. In spring, the plant needs nitrogen compounds, during flowering and fruit filling - in freely available potassium and phosphorus. To avoid a deficiency of these substances, the bushes are fertilized at least 3 times per season. In early spring, 50 g / m² of ammonium nitrate is introduced into the soil, before flowering and during the formation of the ovary, the bushes fertilize 40 g of superphosphate and 20 g of potassium sulfate.

Mineral top dressing is introduced in the form of solutions: for this, one portion is dissolved in 10 l of water. Once every 3 years, the vineyard is fed with organic substances - they carry out the procedure in the fall, a solution of cow manure (1:10) serves as fertilizer.

Bush shaping and pruning

Formation and trimming is carried out several times per season. For the first time in a season, the vine is cut in the spring - at this time, old and frozen shoots are removed on it. As the bush develops, stepsons are removed on it. During the development of clusters, the bushes are rationed in order to avoid the advantage of the bush and the shading of the clusters to each other. To accelerate the ripening of grapes, it is also recommended to remove foliage shading berries.

Read more about proper pruning of grapes in spring.

In the fall, sanitary pruning and shortening are carried out, in addition to old shoots on the bush, all fruitful shoots are removed. They do this in such a way as to give the bush a convenient form for shelter, while at least 5-6 eyes should remain on each fruiting shoot.

The formation of the crown of the bush is carried out during sanitary pruning, in early spring and late autumn. The procedure makes it possible to create a form convenient for care, development and fruiting. In addition, the formation makes it possible to create the optimal ratio between the aboveground and underground parts of the bush, which directly affects its productivity. The bush is formed in such a way that 3-4 main shoots consisting of many one- and two-year branches grow from the basal zone.

Soil weeding

Weeding the soil has several meanings for the vine - it helps:

  • saturate the roots with air;
  • establish the optimal water regime in the basal zone;
  • to avoid the development of weeds on the site, negatively affecting the development of bushes.
Loosening is carried out in two ways: by the deep method and superficially. Deep plowing is carried out 2 times a season, in early spring and late autumn. At this time, the soil is loosened to a depth of 25-30 cm. Surface loosening is done as necessary, the next day after watering and during weeding, the depth of plowing should be about 10-15 cm. only near-trunk circle, but also row spacing.

Important! To protect yourself from crop damage by small birds or rodents, a meter from the trunk around the bush you need to lay out sawdust, peat, ash or fresh needles. They secrete specific substances that repel small pests.

Shelter for the winter

Shelter for the winter is a mandatory measure for those regions where there is a danger of winter frosts below –15 ° С. This procedure is carried out in late autumn, after the average daily temperature reaches + 10 ° С.

Make shelter in several stages:

  1. First, the root zone is covered with a thick layer of soil about 50 cm thick. Thus, the root circle must be turned into a small earthen hill, which protects the roots from freezing.
  2. Next, the plant is sanitized and shortened, after which the branches are tightly connected with a rope. If the bush is tied to a support, then it is released.
  3. The bound bush is pressed to the soil, and then covered with burlap or special agrofibre. A layer of dense polyethylene is laid on top of such materials, which is covered with 10-15 cm of sawdust, bark or light varieties of soil.
Sheltered grapes must be covered with snow - such a measure at times increases the thermal insulation properties of a protective shelter.

Pest control and disease resistance

When removing “Witch's Fingers”, breeders initially laid in the plant strong and resistant to various pests and infections immunity. Today, this variety is considered the most resistant to biological factors of influence, and especially to downy mildew and bacterial cancer. However, often, especially in difficult growing conditions, plant immunity is reduced, which creates favorable conditions for damage to the bush by various ailments. In order to avoid this planting, they are sprayed with solutions of complex fungicides. The procedure is carried out twice and always before flowering.

Learn more about how you can spray grapes in the fall from pests and diseases.

The most commonly used drugs for these purposes are:

  • "Topaz";
  • "Speed";
  • Fitoverm;
  • "Extrasol".

Witch's Fingers is an exotic and fairly popular grape variety. The plant is resistant to many characteristic diseases, as well as insects, and is distinguished by excellent taste. To grow this grape is a strength for everyone, for this it is only necessary to adhere to the recommendations described above.

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