This week we will be spraying both fungicide and herbicide. Fungus of all types love hot, humid weather, so we have to spray fungicide about once every seven to ten days during the growing season. And, we mix it up and vary our use of specific fungicides in order to reduce the likelihood that fungus becomes resistant to our sprays.
Our use of a herbicide after leaves appear on the vines may at first appear inappropriate. But, we are using Gramoxone which kills just the growing tissue it contacts and is not a systemic that the plant will ingest and die from. We use the Gramoxone to kill the suckers in addition to weeds under the vines that will compete with the vines for water and nutrients.
Some of our vineyard staff will help with a large bottling run this week, while the others will focus on suckering and tying vines at Maple Woods. Suckering involves removing canes (suckers) that grow out of the main trunk of the vines. They will not be fruitful however; they will consume nutrients that could go into growing flavorful grapes. We have to retie vines after almost every storm. There are always some vines that get blown down off the wire.