Sunday, July 30, 2006

July 28 - July 29 Things look good.

(Sampson Valley Vineyard at Sunset July 29, 2006)

Over the last 4 growing seasons, it seemed like I would find more problems than success at the vineyard. This year has been MUCH better. I still finds lots of things to work on, but at least things look pretty good every time I get out there.

We got lots of rain over the last couple of weeks. Things look really good. Disease pressure is still quite low. Some signs of powdery mildew, but not too much. Nothing like last year. We have had some very hot weather recently. Two weekends ago, we were in the mid and upper 90's this weekend we were in the upper 80's to mid 90s and will be near 100 F the next couple of days.

No signs of verasion (when the grapes turn to their final color) starting. Last year it happen about the second week of August. Over all things look good. It appears as though I have had 100% success with the fresh LaCrescent plantings. Most seem to be doing well, even the ones that were hit hard by the rose chafers earlier this June. I sprayed RoundUp around them to kill the weeds and grasses. I used a 2 ft high and 2ft in radius homemade cardboard tube to protect the vines as I sprayed. I also sprayed around the Seedless concord which are also are not producing this year.

On Saturday, I sprayed the entire vineyard with Kaligreen. This will be the last spraying I do before harvest which I expect to be around Labor Day this year. I used a rather light spray schedule this year (but more that nothing like the previous years.) It appears to have been very beneficial.

The experimental vinifera vineyard is still battling the deer. It looks like the deer are visiting fairly regularly. Decided to try a trick I read about on one of the grape growing groups. Using high pound test fishing line. I strung 40# test around the plot... I am not hopeful, but until I get the high tunnel up in the next few weeks, it is all I have. Since this is just temporary until I get the high tunnel up, I didn't want to invest in another solar fencer. Speaking of solar fencer, I noticed some odd burning and blackening of some of the grape vine leaves in the park vineyard on the bottom row. It didn't take me long to realize that the burns were from the fencer! The shock from it is very light ... Kind of like a static shock, so I was surprised that it could damage the foliage. Anyway I moved the fence back a few feet from the vines to keep the foliage from getting anymore damage.

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