Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Whew ... Bullet dodged, but not out of the woods yet.

Only got to the mid 30s last night. Still lots of time for a frost yet this spring. I am hopeful however that things will stay warm. The 14 day forecast still shows no sub freezing temps.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Frost possible tonight

The report from the vineyard (via my Mom) is that the buds have swollen to the size of marbles ... I think some may have broken, but I'm not there to verify how many. The forecast for tonight was a low of 29-34 F ... so I am a bit concerned, but I think things are not far along enough that even a low of 30, 31 or 32 shouldn't do too much damage. The last temperature Observation from Pulaski (about 11 miles from the vineyard) was about 42 F, and the dew point was 32, so I am feeling a little better, but we will see in the morning.

My foch and cab franc in the backyard broke bud late last week, and may be susceptible tonight, but I'll take my chances. Talked to Norm Stilson from the Prairie Home Vintners club tonight, and his vines are swollen but have not broken, his vines are on a west facing slope. One of the disadvantages of my vines being on a south facing slope, is the risk of frost injury in the spring.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Bud break in Madison

My Foch and Cabernet Franc have broken bud in Madison. Forecast is for a possible light frost next Tuesday Night/Wednesday morning. My backyard usually stays warmer, so hopefully I'm safe.

I don't know if the buds broke up in Sampson yet, so I'm not sure if I should be concerned.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Buds swelling in Sampson

My weekends are full the next 3 weeks, so I took the opportunity to do a little work on the Saturday before Easter Sunday. The foch buds are really swelling. I hope they don't break soon, because there still is a lot of time that a frost is possible. I was encouraged by how little winter kill I experienced.

It's been drier up in Sampson than down in Madison. We could use a little rain up there.
I took the tarp off the second half of the experimental vinifera. These looked better than the first half I uncovered. When I prunned them they were nice and green inside.

Unfortunately, some of the vines look like they were a mid winter snack. I am concerned about the vines that were heavily gnawed by rodents. At least one chardonnay vine was definitely killed. I suspect several others may have also died. I thought the winter might get them, but it looks like it may have been mice.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Purple foot Acid tester

I started testing the purple foot acid tester. I am posting my pictures and results here:

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Spraying Lime sulfur

I took it easy on Friday, but Saturday it was back to work. I was able to find lime sulfur at Stein's in Green Bay. I had contacted a supplier near Madison, but they hadn't replied to my email, so I was very happy to find it in Green Bay. Lime sulfur used as a dormant spray is used primarily to control anthracnose. From what I learned at the MGGA convention in February I think my vines had it last year. My Foch are a sulfur sensitive variety, so lime sulfur can only be sprayed when the vines are dormant. Since foch are sensitive to sulfur I decided to only spray 3 out of the four rows of Foch. The top one and the bottom two. Lime sulfur while considered organic is still quite poisonous/dangerous, so I wore the appropriate goggles/mask, and protective clothing when spraying. It also smells like rotten eggs, so it's also a good idea to let neighbors know. Luckily there was little to no wind, and spraying went well with the exception that the sprayer I bought was a "lemon." I ended up spraying 1 of 2 rows of Lacrosse, the row of Landot Noir and 3 of the 4 rows of foch. I did not spray the St Pepin or the seedless concord. I may spray the st pepin at Easter time if they are still dormant. I may also hit the Vinifera at that time too.