Friday, May 29, 2009

My babies.

I spent most of the day in the vineyard performing, what my professor at the college would call, spring viticultural operations. I call it back breaking work: suckering extraneous shoots from the trunks of the vines and stuffing wayward shoots into the trellis wires. The rows really look pretty when you are finished, but that's really not the point...unless you are a girl. I also trained up some baby vines. Can we all say, ahhh.
I had field budded some vines last September and now it is time to train them up a stake and watch them mature into wine grape bearing adults. Sniff. Brings tears to my eyes, or is that my back aching?


Craig Justice said...

Ahhhh! Way to be! Been there done that and it never ends. The stork brought some baby-potted Aglianicos, so we'll plant those today. Next: Serious question for the day. We've having May Gray / June Gloom lots of fog & moisture on the plants. I've been thinning out some leaves in the "fruit zone" to open it up a bit. My reasoning: for better airflow; a little more light; lower mildew risk. Question: Is it a dumb move? Am I robbing the vines of leaves and therefore photosynthesis? (Note: These vines are vigorous and have tons of leaves!) What do the profs in school say? Your advice. Thank you! (P.S. Really cute rows. Our Queen would approve.)

Craig Justice said...

PS - What about sunburn if I remove leaves in the fruit zone?

Vinogirl said...

Yes, way too early to be removing leaves in the fruit zone. I have been suckering my CS last two days, but only the latent buds on the trunk and clearing out the head (my vines are head trained). It is still relatively early in the season and the vines still need lots of photosynthesis as a little extra umph to get them through the grand period of growth that will happen any day now...they just over achieve at this point in time, perhaps growing noticeably 2 or 3 inches in one sunny day. Leave them alone for a little so that they can participate in photosynthesis.
Sulphur: wettable or dust for you right now?

idle said...

Yours is the third wine blog I follow.

The other two are the Berry Bros blog and the intermittent blog of David Clark

In case you are interested.

Vinogirl said...

I will take a look.

Craig Justice said...

About the sulpher, I bought a bag of the "wettable" but still haven't used it. Did just about everything else yesterday (catch mice, fix broken pole, plant some more vines, set gopher traps, etc.) Temperatures still cool here (under 70) so no mildew risk yet (according to UC Davis system). I think we had growth spurt a few weeks ago! But yours noted. Folks down here will start with sulphur first, then rotate with pristine, rally, etc. I DID do a lyme sulphur and oil dormant spray after pruning this year for the first time -- I'm sure that was a wise move, and that was easy. Got to go and redo the wires on that line with the replaced pole. Thanks for the info!