How to cover grapes in wet, warm winters


Do I cover grapes if the weather forecasters promise a frost-free “European” winter in your region? And if you do, how and with what?

After you have carried out feeding, watering, pruning, and treatment of vines against diseases and pests, it is time to proceed to its coverage for the winter. In most cases, the crop needs it by default. The happy exception is only frost-resistant regionalized varieties, fully healthy and hardened. But even with them, experienced grape growers advise not to experiment, but to provide them with full protection: both from frost and from temperature differences. And special attention in this matter should be paid to vines growing in regions with wet winters and frequent thaws.

Bend the vine to the ground a few weeks before the construction of protection, before it has lost its flexibility. Use staples of thick wire to secure it, bending the vine to the ground in the direction in which it lies without the threat of breaking.

Material to cover vines in warm, wet winters

The main point to consider is the need for systematic removal of the cover to ventilate the grapes. Choose material options with this in mind. For example, temporarily removing leaves, snow, or sand for ventilation will be very problematic, especially if you are short on time. For this reason, it is better to refuse such materials right away. But a polyethylene film should be ignored for another reason: the vines under it will start to hatch and rot. So what to choose?

Branches of conifers

One of the most preferred cover options for many crops. The branches of conifers do not rot, are excellent air permeable, but at the same time do not freeze. And for rodents (due to their specific aroma) is not too attractive, and thus will provide protection from them (and at the same time from fungal diseases). The only nuance is that branches of conifers are prickly, that is when working with it is desirable to wear gloves.

The layer of branches of conifers when covering grapes should be at least 30-40 cm.


If frosts are not expected for the coming winter, you can also choose spunbond. The main thing is the presence of small holes in it, so that the vine-covered with it “breathed”. In principle, you can keep such material on even until spring. However, if frosts do strike, a few days before their arrival, the grapes will need to be additionally covered, for example, with the same branches of conifers.

To make the agrovolok hold better, it is better to attach it to the arcs installed on the perimeter or press it to the ground with large stones or boards.


Another “breathing” option for covering vines. However, the straw used for this purpose needs to be pre-compacted, so that such a shelter will not be blown away by the wind. And also it does not save plants from rodents. Therefore, baits will have to be installed near the place where the vines grow.

Straw is initially poured with a layer of thickness of 20 cm, and after a month on top of the shelter is added about the same amount.


Small tree branches are not only suitable for kindling the stove – but they are also successfully used as a cover for plants. In a warm, damp winter, brushwood will also fully protect the vine from low temperatures, but in this case, too, will have to stock up on traps from rodents and install them near the plants.

In the case of young grapes, it is necessary to act a little differently. It is not necessary to bend such a vine to the ground. Around the seedlings, small hard cones are built from thick wire, Rabitz chain-link, or ordinary stakes. The inside of the cone is filled with any breathable mulch, and the top is tied with spunbond. With temporary warming, it is systematically removed during the day, ventilating the vine.

The vine should survive the first frosts on its own, without covering. Pre-winter preparation, which we told you about at the beginning of the article, will help it to cope with them. Start covering the vines after the rains have stopped and the temperature has stabilized at -5-8°C for a few days.

About the Author: Amanda Johnson

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