Recent rains make spraying of fungicide essential. We are spraying almost every morning this week when there is no wind.

We will be doing lots of routine maintenance in the vineyards. Mowing is almost a continuous task when it is raining regularly. And after wind storms, we move through each vineyard re-tying vines that have fallen down. We will also be removing the grow tubes on vines we planted this spring.

We have a real problem with volunteer mulberries in our vineyards. The birds love the mulberry fruit and they eat it seeds and all. Then, they sit on the top trellis wires in our vineyards and pass the mulberry seeds along wrapped in a nice nitrogen layer. Perfect for the mulberry tree but not so good for us. We have to dig them out each year. And, with a deep, strong taproot, digging Mulberry trees out isn’t easy.

We’ve been waiting for the right time to try hedging a few rows of Marquette. Our objective is to make harvest easier while managing the vigor of these vines. We won’t be removing leaves that are essential for ripening fruit but we will be reducing the number of leaves on the longer canes. If we did this too early, the vines would just grow lots of laterals which would make the problem more severe and not better. By waiting, we are to the point that the vine won’t grow the laterals because the vine’s energy is now going into ripening and sweetening the grapes.