Monday, April 30, 2007

Bud break in madison and nearly Bud Break in Sampson

My backyard foch grape vines broke bud last week Wednesday-Friday April 25-27. The shoots are now about 1-2 inches long. Bud break in Sampson should occur any day now. The foch were quite swollen. A few buds near the base of the trunks had already broken.

I put grow tubes on the LaCrescent vines that I planted last year. They look very good. I may have lost 1 vine ... but it may have made it ... hard to tell at this point. Most of the buds have broken, and most have only couple shoots. I pruned them back quite a bit, to get a nice strong trunk.

The Saint Pepin look to be a few days at least behind the foch. The Landot noir aren't showing a whole lot of life. The Lacrosse seem to be on about the same pace as the foch ... the Lacrosse look healthier this year than any year in the past.

I saw no grape flea beetle signs this year, so I did not spray anything for them.

Things seem to be about 1-2 weeks behind where they were last year ... hopefully this will allow things to miss any frosts.

I mowed the vineyard for the first time this season ... things look good an healthy over all.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Buds are a starting to swell

The buds are just starting to swell. Our little cold spell was welcome earlier in the month; I think it slowed things down enough to avoid the inevitable frosts in late April and early May. I still think I may have bud burst earlier than last year. Looking at the current forecasts, I would expect bud burst to occur about or shortly after May 1.

I spent much of Monday (April 16) applying my dormant spray of Lime Sulfur. Conditions were excellent. Almost no wind, with temperatures in the upper 50's. The Lime Sulfur is an Organic spray used to control anthracnose and overwintering diseases. Vines are looking very healthy coming out of winter.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

And then comes the snow!!!!

It's been a cold April. We got down to 20 F last weekend. Luckily, I haven't seen any bud swell yet, so I don't expect any damage from the cold temperatures. I'm certain I faired better than the folks down south (Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas) ... they reached record lows in the mid 20's to upper teens last weekend. Many of their vines already had significant growth. Much of this year's crop was lost due to the freeze.

This cold may actually help delay bud burst in my vineyard and therefore reduce the risk of loss because of a late frost. Forecasts for the next week are cold with only a slight moderation .... highs most days in the 40's F, a few 30's F, with lows in the 20's F.

We might get smacked with a big snow tonight and tomorrow(6" or more!!!) Things are still pretty dormant.

Found a good link that gives cold hardiness at different bud stages:

Refers to Concord, but should give me a ballpark idea anyway.