We are planting 1,288 new vines this year and the planting process started this week. We purchase our new vines as rooted cuttings that consist of a root ball and about twelve inches of trunk. We will dig a hole in the ground, put the root ball in the hole, and the trunk will grow, if everything works right, up to the top wire about 5.5 feet about the ground this year. To make sure that the trunk grows straight, we install a piece of pencil rod at the same time we plant the vine. The pencil rod is tied at the top wire to keep it in place. This is not just a matter of aesthetics! If the trunk doesn’t grow straight, it may snag on a piece of machinery which will do significant damage to the new vine, probably just about the time it starts to produce fruit.
We are at the prime growing season for all plants in the vineyard, including the grass between the rows of vines. So, we are mowing almost constantly these days.
While our first priority is planting new vines this week, we are also tucking the Marquette into the catch wires, spraying fungicide on days when there is no wind, and replacing posts and removing mulberry trees at Meadowcreek.