Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Status mid June ... some herbicide damage

A good week!

Things looked pretty good the weekend of June 17-18. It was hot and windy this weekend. On Saturday, it hit 91F. Unfortunately, it has been a couple of weeks since the vineyard has seen any substantial rain. We could really use some right now.

The spraying last weekend seems to have been effective. I saw only a handfuls of rose chafers on the vines. I saw almost no signs of the grape flea beetles nor their larvae. The rose chafers were devouring a nearby rose bush and every milk weed in the area.

Speaking of insect damage. I did see something very interesting. In the vinifera, I purposely left any milk weeds I saw last weekend. This weekend the milk weeds were devoured by some type of insects. Completely skeletonized/defoliated. But I have never seen a bug on any of the vinifera or any damage from insects. What's protecting these? The root stock? The varietals?

I gave the vinifera a good weeding/tiling in preparation for the high tunnel. The fence seems to have discouraged the deer over the last week. At least I didn't see any fresh deer damage.

Vines at the park have entered full bloom. A little later than I would have expected since everything had been early up until now, but the cool May and cool shots during June slowed things down a bit.

Herbicide damage?
On Saturday, the vines at the park looked fine, but come Sunday, they had curled bubbly leaves. Looks like maybe herbicide damage? Possibly 2-4d drift? I have read that 2-4D volitilizes in hot weather. Since we haven't had a rain in so long, the herbicide may actually be from several days ago? Just guessing.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Give 'em a fighting chance

Bunch of pictures from the vineyard this weekend. Here is a picture of the vineyard from Sunday afternoon.

The vines are getting hit from the weather, bugs, and more bugs. Well, I decided it's time I give the vines a fighting chance.

The Rose Chafers are back, and back in force. This is the forth year in a row they hit my vines. Last year they showed up on about June 15, this year it was maybe June 10 or a day or two earlier. My notes only note them showing up in June the previous years, and were not detailed enough to know the exact date. Interestingly, the last two years appearances coincided within a day or so of the cutting of the hay field that the vineyard borders. Related? Possibly.
Here they are attacking the LaCrescent vines
The vines that hadn't been attacked yet were covered with floating row covers. Unfortunately, the row covers really could only be used on the newly planted vines. And the jury is still out on whether they will even work.Benjamin Franklin was quoted as saying that the definition of insanity is to do the exact same thing over and over and expect a different outcome. I haven't really sprayed or done anything significant to eradicate them. Well this year was different. I really didn't want to lose another year on the Concords, and lose a year on the LaCrescent. So after surveying the extent of the infestation ... significant, and since bloom hadn't really started, I decided to spray Sevin. I thought it was either use it or lose some vines. The LaCrosse were hit every year by them, and they are in their forth year and will still not bear a crop! The Sevin looks like they did a number on the Rose Chafers... at least the ones that were part of the current infestation. Check out the picture....

I am also seeing a lot of damage from the grape flea beetle and its larvae. Several of the laCrosse got hit the hardest, and it looks like no or very little crop off them again this year. The LaCrosse definitely have had it the hardest. It's hard to believe I haven't lost one of those vines completely yet.

You can see the grape flea beetle larvae on the left ( a bit blurry) You can also see the damage to the canopy of the foch on the right.

The LaCrosse showed the most damage. I read that the Larvae damage from the grape flea beetle was typically "minor" ... ha! minor?... look at the picture!

The Sevin should also knock them back too. I'll evaluate status next weekend, but the next spray of Sevin may have to wait until after bloom, which I expect to start in force in the next week or so.

And to top it off. I had a frost Sunday morning!!! It's June 11th!!! A FROST?!! It only hit the lowest corner where the air drainage is poor, and only the foliage closest to the ground, but come on.... here is a picture of the a vine that got it pretty good.Not all is lost . Some of the foch was looking quite good. See below

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Rose chafers return and so do the deer

Well, the Rose chafers are back ..... they already laid waste to about a half dozen laCrescent, and about 3 concords. They really like the young foliage. I found them on the saint pepin and foch too, but the most damage is to the recent plantings. I also saw considerable damage from the grape flea beetle and its larvae. The hit some of the foch, but nothing the vines can't handle. They hit some of the saint pepin harder, but I think they will spring back. I sprayed the top 5 rows of vines with Omri approved Insecticidal Soap. It is organic, although it should not be sprayed on vines from bloom until shatter. The top five rows are not in bloom yet, nor do I intend to allow them to bear fruit this year. It looked like it may already be working on some of the rose chafers.

I also sprayed kaligreen on the vines this evening. This is Potasium bicarbonate. Used primarily to kill powdery mildew. Also organic.
The deer struck the pit vineyard again. Did quite a bit of feasting. Kellan and Brent helped me put up a 4 strand 6 foot high fence. Hopefully it will slow them down. They also were nibbling on the vines at the park; especially the bottom row.
Although their damage was much more severe at the park.
In addition to mowing and spraying, I spent a lot of time pruning suckers from the vine bases, and retraining some of the vines with bad trunks etc. I'll try to take some pictures tomorrow and post them.