Last week, we talked about our mechanical hedging trial. We decided to wait a couple of weeks until the vines had slowed down their vegetative growth for the season and then go ahead with a trial on just a few rows of grapes. If we hedge too soon, we’ll encourage lateral growth which ends up shading the fruit too much while not producing any additional fruit.
We continue to tie and remove suckers. We will be using our new Environmist sprayer to apply herbicide right under the vines. We will also be applying fungicide in two vineyards. And, we will apply herbicide to mark rows where we will plant new vines at Maple Woods.
Finally, last this week, we expect to receive 8.5 miles of bird netting. We will install the netting over red grapes as soon as the grapes change color. This is about two to three weeks before harvest. The birds aren’t attracted to grapes until they turn red or purple. Once they’ve discovered the grapes, they can strip a vineyard in just a couple of days. We time the application of the netting so that we minimize bird predation but not so early that the vines continue to grow up through the netting. When the vines grow up through the netting, it becomes very difficult to remove.