Although the weather cooled off last week slowing the rate that vines come out of dormancy, we remain very cautious because we’ve experienced warm weather much earlier in the season than usual. We are very concerned about a cold snap in April or early May that could freeze off tender buds. Nonetheless, we are forging ahead with pruning varieties that usually bud late. We will finish pruning LaCrosse and St. Pepin at Meadowcreek and Newport Lane this week.
Our mechanical pruning system cutting canes that grew last year. We have to go back and manually remove the longer canes that don’t drop to the ground. We are pruning two rows at a time and it is about ten times as fast as it can be done manually.
The cutting head on each side has a sickle-bar cutter on the sides of the vines and a rotary cutter beneath the cordon.
We are also still spraying sulfur. It is a stinky job (sulfur smells like rotten eggs) but it is important to thoroughly cover the trunks, cordon, and all canes of the vine to kill fungi that may have overwintered on the vine. We need a few dry days with little wind to get this job done.
Our next varieties to prune will be the St. Pepin and LaCrosse located at our Meadowcreek vineyard. We are also looking for and replacing broken cross braces at the ends of rows. We take this opportunity to tighten the cross wires in the end post structure at the same time.
Category : From Our Vineyard &Newsletter Articles Posted on March 28, 2016