Buds have broken and leaves are forming on many, but not all, of our grape varieties. Edelweiss, Marquette, and La Crescent have budded out and with the warm weather expected this week, they will be nice and green along the top wire by Friday. Our Steuben and Foch, on the other hand, have small buds that in some cases have started to swell but are one to two weeks from forming leaves.
April 27 marks the day that Mahaska County has a 90% chance of experiencing no additional hard freezes at night. Keep in mind that, based on history, we still have a 10% chance of a hard freeze. In fact, we dodged the cold weather bullet last Thursday when the temperature got to about 33°F. But, we are moving on in the hope that we won’t have any more freezing nights.
We have finished long pruning with our new V-Mech pruning system last week and are now working hard to get our short pruning done by early May. We have finished short pruning Edelweiss at Tassel Ridge and are moving through other varieties as fast as we can.
We are pleased to see that we are pruning a lot of wood off the vines this year. That tells us that the vines are vigorous and that our fertilization program is paying off. Hopefully that will all translate into a good harvest this year.