Our vineyard crew is moving right along with pruning. Having finished the Marquette, they’ll work on St. Croix and Frontenac at Meadowcreek and Newport Lane vineyards this week.
We will also start applying the annual lime-sulfur spray to our grapevines this week. This is the same organic spray that is used on fruit trees, ornamental garden plants, and fruit trees to kill fungi that overwinter in the trunks of plants.
We’ll be getting our herbicide sprayer tuned up and ready so we can keep vineyard weeds under control this season.
While pruning has gotten off to a good start this season, we are concerned about how warm the weather has been considering that it is only mid-March. Sap is already flowing in the Marquette and we expect to see it flowing in other grape varieties soon. That is a good indication that the ground is warming and that bud break may occur as early as May 1 this year. In itself, that is nice as long as we don’t get a cold snap soon thereafter. A hard frost of 28°F or lower for 4–5 hours some night will kill the primary buds that have already opened. Any harvest we get in August and September would then be dependent on secondary buds which are not as fruitful. So, we are hoping that the weather warms slowly and then stays warm.