Sunday, July 16, 2006

We have grapes!

It has been a while since I have been to the vineyard. I was out of the country for over a week, so this weekend was the first time in 3 weeks that have I been to the vineyard.

In general I had good news. No significant signs of insect pressure and no signs of disease. We had good rains a couple of weeks ago that gave everything a good boost.

I spent most of the weekend weeding, mowing and spraying.

After 3 weeks everything needed a good mowing. I then had to weed the new LaCrescent vines. I also removed the floating row covers that about 10 of the LaCrescent had on them. I don't know how much good the row covers did. The vines without the covering seemed to rebound nicely from the rose chafer damage, with no new signs of damage. The vines under the row covers seemed a bit stunted, and seemed to get a bit of a heat shock when it was removed. I think I may go back to the vine tubes next year for new plantings. However, I think I will get the snap together kind, and only use them the first year.

The concord did look terribly perky. Only a few vines are growing well. No panic from me, since they were really just planted for table grapes and I am more interested in wine grapes.

The La Crosse still look kind of poor. A few are doing well, but they just haven't recovered from all of their traumas over the last few years. This may be why there were so few grapes on the Saint Pepin. They need to be pollinated from another grape variety, and the LaCrosse they were planted next to did not have many flowers.

The Landot Noir, and Saint Pepin are both growing well. If the Landot Survive the winter, I may have a small crop on them next year.

The foch in general look better than they ever have. The four year old vines will even produce a nice small harvest. I estimate about 120 lbs of grapes ... maybe a little more. Not a lot, but it's a start.

I also sprayed a fixed copper spray to control downy mildew, blackrot and powdery mildew. The spray I used was Kocide 2000 (in which copper hydroxide is the active ingredient) ... not Omri approved, but still considered organic I think. ( not that I am seeking organic consideration.) I used about 1/2 cup of Kocide in 25 gallons of water. This is equivalent to 1 lb per 100 gallons. Which is on the low end of the suggested application rates. The temperature was in the upper 80s when I sprayed with a light breeze out of the South West. (I sprayed at about 11:00 am on Sunday) The leaves seem to dry very fast. I did not spray the top LaCrosse row since it was next to the Concord which is copper sensitive. 25 gallons total covered the rest of the vines. When the vines are mature, I estimate I will need about 50 gallons total. I also used about 2-3 ounces of spreader sticker.

In general disease pressure was low. I'm not sure if this was due to the weather, the dormant lime sulfur spray, or the kaligreen spray in June. What ever it was, the vines sure do look healthy.

The one major bad thing I saw was the deer eating the vinifera again. I hope they'll recover, but it has been a struggle with them. I didn't spend too much time on them this weekend. I hope to spend more time the next time I am up there in a couple of weeks.

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