We have been busy in the vineyard.
And I have not blogged about it.
Some of it has to do with actually being very busy and some of it has to do with the fact that for the last two years grape growers in CA have not had a very good time of it. Between rain, mildew, excessive heat, and botrytis, it has been a struggle to produce a crop that is satisfactory in quantity and quality. As we start this next growing season, we are wondering what lies ahead. Hard to get excited. Sigh…
Truth is in January the vines were pruned for new growth and in February they were sprayed with a lime/sulfur solution to kill over-wintering molds and fungus. We are ready to go! And with an early bud break due in just a few days, we had better be ready!
The second pic shows that the vines are pruned to contain 6 to 8 two bud spurs on the cordon. (Cordon: The cordon, or “arms”, of the grapevine extend from the trunk and are the part where additional arms and eventually leaves and grape clusters extend. The cordons are usually trained along wires as part of a trellis system. This training usually fixes the cordon into a permanent position, such as horizontal extending from the trunk in opposite directions.) From each of these spurs, two buds will push to create the long canes that will contain the fruit and the leaves for canopy and photosynthesis.
Here is an interesting thing: In order to produce good quality fruit that ripens, a four to five foot cordon must only have 6 to 8 spur positions, each a fist width apart from the other, with two canes on each spur and two fruit clusters on each cane!
Today and tomorrow Mom and I are going to flush lines in preparation for fertigation on Thursday with an organic calcium fertilizer. It is a wet, stinky task. If you want a refresher course on the irrigation system click on Let’s Talk Irrigation. If you just want to relive the line flushing video go here: Flushing Water Lines
Will this be a fun day? The picture below shows where I will be all day. You be the judge.
“The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog”. – Ambrose Bierce