Monday, April 01, 2013

Snow is finally melting, it's pruning time again!

Pruning LaCrescent on March 23, 2013
We are getting a late start on pruning this year, but things are moving along.  Last year we had the hottest March on record, this year paid us back with a cold one.  

It remains to be seen if bud break will be delayed, but things can move quickly.

We decided to make some modifications to our pruning this year.   We had good production on some cultivars, poor on others, so we decided to make some adjustments.

2012 yields

Cultivar Yield per vine in lbs Training System
Foch 14.6 SHW
LaCrosse 11.8 ½ SHW        ½ VSP
Frontenac 10.9 VSP
St Pepin 8.7 SHW
Prairie Star 8.6 VSP
Marquette 4.6 VSP
LaCrescent 3.5 VSP

SHW = Single High Wire  
VSP = Vertical Shoot Positioned

Foch is an incredible producer.  Reliable and disease resistant.   We will probably stick with the same bud count as last year (~50-60 buds per vine.)

LaCrosse is our mystery cultivar.  In 2011, we could not get it close to ripe.  We pruned it very severely in the spring of 2012.  (maybe 15-30 buds.)  But we still had a nice harvest.   Quality was the best I have seen in 10 years!  We will probably use a similar strategy this year.

Frontenac.  Had a very nice harvest.   We will probably shoot for a similar bud count as last year. ~50-60 buds.

Prairie Star. We are bumping up the bud count slightly.   Not sure what caused the lower yield last year.
-maybe poor polination
-poor nutrients (it is in the sandiest part of the vineyard)
-rose chafer damage during polination
Quality was excellent however.

Marquette yield was poor.   We will probably try to bump that up from 50 to 60-65 this year.

LaCrescent.   Horrible yield.   Good quality.   We left a lot of buds on this year.  Close to 80 per vine.

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