The root system of a grapevine contains more energy than the vine needs to start growing each season so it directs some of that energy into potential new trunks that we call suckers. In a healthy vine, suckers are not welcome because if they are allowed to grow, they will sap the energy of the vine and reduce quality fruit production. We must remove them each season. This is very difficult work because the worker has to drop to his knees, use a gloved hand to knock the suckers off and then get up and move to the next vine. Before moving on, they make sure the vine is well tied to the trellis. We use a bio-degradable twine that won’t last long enough to girdle the vine and eventually kill the cane. But, this twine usually has to be replaced every second season. This is not a big deal with a couple of hundred vines but with 38,500 vines, it takes a lot of time.
The grass between the rows is growing fast this time of year so we are mowing almost continually.
We are also applying our last systemic herbicide for the season. It is applied directly to weeds immediately under the vines with our new Environmist sprayer. This will significantly reduce the number of weeds that are competing with the vines for water and nutrients.
At Maple Woods, we are starting to burn down the grass just in the rows where we will plant new vines next season. Getting a vineyard ready for planting is a year-long project.