Monday, May 30, 2011

Off with their heads.

I can't spend all my time obsessing over the non-existent spring-like weather, or looking for the almost non-existent bloom...well, I could, but I shouldn't. There are other things to be done in the vineyard. So, this weekend I redirected my energy towards unearthing the rootstocks that I field-budded late last summer.
There are several simple steps to follow in performing this particular vineyard operation; carefully push away the dirt pile, unwind the grafting tape, check the bud has a good callous, whip off the rootstock's new growth, place a milk carton over the new shoot (in this case Syrah) for protection, all the time avoiding stealth-puppy-kisses from a particular, small black and white dog. Oh, and get up, brush off your knees and move on to the next vine. Easy-peasy!


Thomas said...


Have you explored using growth tubes?

Thud said...

Apparently we have had the driest spring actuality for us poor north westeners it has rained steadily except luckily for your visit.

Vinogirl said...

Thomas: No, not convinced of their efficacy over the tried, and trusted, milk carton (or OJ if you want to be posh). I seem to remember from my Vineyard Mgt class that cartoned vines grew stronger, with better quality trunks, and were more cold-hardy than their plastic-sheathed counterparts. Besides, who wants to have to store all those weird, corrugated plastic tubes when they're not actually being used?

Thud: It's official - Northern California has just had it's second coolest May on record. I could use some of that fantastic, and totally unexpected, weather I had on my recent holiday right about now.

Thomas said...


Over here, in cold-hardy land, young vineyards all around are often lined with the tubes.

I had success using the tube to nurture a new peach tree which I managed to start from a peach seed--it's a long story, and not an easy feat!

Vinogirl said...

Well, yes, Napa is hardly the cold-hardy capital of the world, and some new vineyards actually do use grow tubes, but I was taught to use cartons and they work just fine for me.
Pity I won't get the peach story in person :)