Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cooler April Ends

It looks like the warm March was fortunately followed by a moderately cool April.   Just cool enough to slow the buds,  but warm enough to escape significant cold damage.   In fact, this past Thursday we tied our lowest temperature (25.9F) since the beginning of March.    It will be a week or two before the full extent of the damage is known.   It looks like Foch was the most damaged.   It buds early, and is planted in the lowest part of the vineyard.  Marquette and lacrescent may have also had slight damage because they also are early budding cultivars. The most significant damage on those three cultivars may actually be due to grape flea beetles.   Again,  it will be a week or two before the full extent of the beetle damage can be seen.
 We should see a significant warm up in the next week.   I would expect Marquette to break bud by the end of this week.   Foch and lacrescent should be breaking early the following week.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Planting another Acre next year ... maybe

Future Expansion
I'm seriously considering putting in one more acre of vines next year.   I made a rough sketch of where they could go (see the above picture; the blue lines indicate new vineyard blocks).   The vines to the north of the building would be cold hardy seedless cultivars (about 80-100 vines).   The rest would either be Petite Pearl ( a U of Minn red wine cultivar) or Frontenac Blanc (a U of M white wine cultivar) or half of each.

Ideally the rows should be oriented North South, but due to the terrain, I will probably try to match the hill side with the vines to the south and south west of the building.

The vines are a lot of work.  Maybe I'm crazy to plant more vines, but I feel I need to plant this last acre at this site.