General description: Muscat Bleu is a table grape cultivar that grows strong and is resistant to frost and diseases. It fruits abundantly and regularly.
Fruit: Muscat Bleu has large, loosely set grape clusters and big, round fruit with a slight muscat aftertaste.
Ripening: Muscat Bleu grapes ripen early – around mid-September.
Leaves: This grapevine has large, lobed, green, slightly undulant leaves with serrated margins.
Cultivation requirements: This grapevine requires a sunny and warm location. It can be cultivated throughout temperate climes, even in areas with a climate unfavourable for other grape varieties. Seedlings should be planted every 1-1.5 meters, 10-15 cm deeper than in the pot they came in. Small seedlings should be planted in a shallow hole and only covered wholly with soil in autumn. This significantly increases the frost resistance of grapevines and increases the efficiency of watering freshly planted vines.
Care: To build a powerful root system, grapevines need a lot of water. Caring for a newly planted seedling is basically limited to systematic watering. It is especially important to pay attention to watering in early summer and as the grapes ripen. Each young vine requires up to three buckets of water per watering.
Pruning: In the first year after planting, it’s recommended to prune only one to three stems. In the following years, trimming depends on how the vine is to be shaped. Thinning out, in order to obtain high quality fruit, is advised. Pruning should be done according to need, and care should be taken whilst selecting which ones are to be cut, to leave well-fruiting ones on the plant. It is best to leave pruning until late autumn and winter (well before the beginning of vegetation), although, as mentioned, trimming in summer helps control expansion and should be done after new shoots are partially lignified.
Props: This grapevine is perfect for growing on all kinds of fences, pergolas and arbours, trellises and other garden support structures.
Overwintering: Muscat Bleu withstands temperature drops of down to -22°C, however it is recommended to protect the vine for the winter (for e.g., by using agrotextiles). At the beginning of November, cover young seedlings by piling a mound of soil with peat about 30 cm in height over the plants.
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