Our grapevines are in bloom. Compared to daffodils or tulips, their blooms are very unimpressive as the attached photo shows. First of all, each flower is very small and second, it is only at the pollinating stage for 2–3 days. You have to look quick. Initially, each flower is in a shell that looks like a grape. The outer husk falls off and as you can see from the attached photo, there are lots of extremely small parts on the bunch for a few days during pollination. Then, the individual grapes form and initially they are about 1/16 inch in diameter. The actual pollination can be helped by bees, but it is mostly done by gentle winds. Rain can be disastrous because the pollen gets washed off. So, we are hoping that most of the pollenating is done Thursday through Saturday afternoon before the expected rain starts.
We have finished planting 500 LaCrosse vines at Maple Woods Vineyard and will be working on planting Itasca, Verona, and Crimson Pearl in the next two weeks. The last step in planting is to install a “grow tube” around each vine to give it some protection for its first three months in the ground. At the same time, we will be tucking the Marquette and La Crescent canes into the wires that are part of their vertical shoot positioning trellis.
Finally, when weather permits, we will be spraying fungicide and insecticide in our vineyards.We will spray every seven to ten days until just before harvest.