Saturday, September 24, 2005

Those Darn Deer!

Hopefully mowed the Park vineyard for the last time this
year ... but who knows.... its been a warm wet September
in Sampson. I gave the two rows that will have the
LaCrescent vines about 5 lbs of muriate of potash. The
round up did a pretty good job. I also could tell that
the spot spraying among the older vines also did good.

The vines did have a few more areas succumbing to pm, but
overall things looked pretty good. Some of the Lacrosse
had some pretty big sprouts coming from near the base....
I probably will cut most of those off this winter anyway.

Things did not look as good in the pit vineyard. Last
time I was up the deer had fed pretty heavily on the
vines, but that was nothing compared to what I found on
Saturday. They had eaten about 80% of the vines....
anything above the ground was eaten .... even some of the
big canes were heavily gnawed on.

Not sure why they have become more active as of late, but
I suspect that the deterioration of the black plastic,
allowed the deer to become braver and enter the vine area.
I think the black plastic scared them when it was intact.

Not sure exactly when the deer ate the vines, but James
said he noticed it Tuesday of that week. The leafless
vines were sprouting new leaves already ... which is
probably a bad thing, since that energy should be getting
stored for the winter not going into new growth.

Since I didn't know when the frosts will hit, I removed
the two root stock shoots while I could still distinguish
them .... wow these were big ... almost 2 inch diameter.
Didn't know if I should leave it on since it was one of
the few things that the deer didn't eat, but I didn't
think I would be able to tell which ones were rootstock
with no leaves.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

My First Harvest from Sampson Valley Vineyard

Well the growing year for the vineyard is winding down ...
starting to prepare the vineyard for the wisconsin winter.

But first things first! Got my first harvest off my vines
.... well I did get a few clusters last year for my
neice's and nephew's port. But this year I actual got
about 11.5 lbs! enoug for 2 or 3 bottles of wine. Mom
James and Treva helped pick.

Later Mom and I picked another 6 lbs of wild grapes from
the rock pile in the middle of the bear field. These
while not real tasty, were edible. Some of the other wild
grapes on the farm were down right horrible. Maybe the
constant sun that these get made the acids tolerable.

The vineyard got about 2-3 inches in the weeks since I had
been there last. It had been about a week since the last

Park Vineyard
The vines had put on significant growth since then. Many
new shoots from their bases. The grass also really took
off, so I gave it what hopefully will be its last mowing.

After receiving soil and leaf tests that pointed to a
significant Potassium shortage in the vineyard. I spread
about 7 lbs of murate of potash on the top four rows and
the next two longer rows. I put about 2-3 tablespoons
around each vine ... maybe some too close to the base ...
I hope I didn't burn the trunks!

I then put about 5 lbs of potash derived from sulfates
around the vines in the two bottom rows ... this is
suppose to be more organic...

I also sprayed RoundUp for the two rows of LaCrescent I
will be planting next year. I also spot sprayed RoundUp
in the first 4-5 rows. Most being used on the seedless
concord rows and the LaCrosse rows.

The lacrosse vines still looked pretty bad, but some newer
signs of life were showing up as sprouts near the bases.

Pit Vineyard

I thought deer danger was over, but the dear had a field
day in the pit vineyard. I would estimate that they ate
about a 1/3 of the foliage. I think they will be okay,
but it was a pretty significant hit. It looks like they
didn't even touch the two root stock sprouts. I guess
they prefer vinifera. Over all things looked okay. Not
as good as if they had not gotten in there.

Since a freeze may hit the vineyard before I return, I
pulled the Water pump. I also pulled the irrigation
hoses. I need to bring antifreeze for the pump the next
time I come up.

I plan on getting the tarps this week, and will cover up
the vinifers at the end of October or maybe at the
beginning of November. I may even trim them down a bit

I still need to cut off the root stock growths from row 2
vine 12, and row 5 vine 5.