Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tricks of the trade.

In hushed tones I was warned, "If I tell you, I'll have to kill you." I was more than a tad alarmed: what could possibly be so top secret that the simple act of sharing the information with me would put my life in jeopardy? An urgent matter of national security? A long forgotten ignominious skeleton in the cupboard? Nope, nothing quite as cloak and dagger as all that. The hitherto arcane tidbit of intelligence had to do with the utilisation of a common or garden laundry detergent as a fungicide on grapevines.
I've been using Dreft for the past 3 pruning seasons now, mainly on the Cabernet sauvignon vines, as sometimes I have to remove sizeable sections of old growth. These large pruning wounds are often horizontal - the perfect surface for some disagreeable, airborne pathogen to settle upon. It's a relatively inexpensive solution to a potential vineyard dilemma and any soap that is left over I use to wash my smalls.
Dreft: recommended by pediatricians...and a certain professor of viticulture. Of course, I'm not supposed to tell you that.

7 comments:

Thomas said...

Hell, been using such tricks around here in the garden and in the vineyard for years.

Red pepper spray does wonders during the growing season against leaf hopper and sundry buggers.

Thud said...

Washing clothes? I thought the clean clothes fairy dealt with such stuff.

Vinogirl said...

Thomas: May be you should do a post about your little 'secrets' and let the rest of us in on them.

Thud: My poor sister-in-law...

Jo Diaz said...

Interesting. I wonder if this would work on my rose bushes. Each year, after the first full bloom, my vines get all icky, junkie. I don't want to use the nerve stuff that's commercially out there, because it can't be good for bees, butterflies, humming birds, etc. in my garden, so I do nothing, and watch my roses take a beating. I think I'm going to try your trick, and get back to you with this one... Just keep it a secret.

Lord Roby said...

Ma-Maaa used to throw the dirty dishwater(and me sometimes!) onto the rose bushes to kill all the aephids,etc.Me, I prefer to leave the bugs to the Blue,Great,Coal and Long-Tailed tits that abound in the grounds of Quaff Castle.What! What!

Jo Diaz said...

Maybe I'll just leave the rose bushes alone, and take joy in their first bloom. (The become so raggy after that.)

Vinogirl said...

Jo: This would only work on the pruning wounds. I have Vinomaker give the roses a quick going over with sulphur when he is tending to the vines. The past couple of years it has worked wonders. Good luck with your roses...I will be waiting a while for mine seeing as the deer ate all the first round of buds off!

Lord Roby: My grandfather did the same thing, but sometimes purposely made up a batch of 'insecticide' by swishing around a bar of Fairy soap in a bucket of water.