Thursday, 23 July 2015

Summer Musings in the Vineyard

Petit Milo
So between a busy summer with work and vacationing, I am a bit late in posting.  From my last post a lot has happened.  Fruit set is well on the way with some very nice looking bunches on many of the varieties that we let fruit.

Unfortunately with all the other life things going on, I was away during most of the bloom and fruit set dates, but somewhere around mid June is when it all started.  Will have to remember for next year so we can record this vital information.  For now we are waiting to see when varaison starts.

Vinegar, soap and epson salt herbicide

Our organic herbicide project is well underway.  In last post we started it without any weeding, and while it did work somewhat, it was far more effective when the rows had been weeded.  Which was better?  Well they both seemed to work about the same.  The Vinegar solution worked and showed results quicker.  The Avenger took a little bit longer to start, but maybe lasted a bit longer.  In both cases multiple applications seem to be required.  For what it is worth, the Vinegar is far cheaper so that is the route we are taking. I suspect 3 or 4 applications are needed, then a nice cover of mulch.

Gwen and Michael

Our WWOOFERS did arrive and worked extremely well.  Michael and Gwen worked on the vineyard July 13 to July 20 and accomplished many tasks for us - including a finding an angry underground wasp nest! Luckily they escaped relatively unscathed.

Michael and Gwen are molecular biologists from Switzerland and while they did not have much vineyard experience, they picked up the tasks very quickly and proved to be a great asset.  We wish them well in their future travels.

As for the wasps, in the end I removed about 12 above ground and 3 underground nests using a solution of hot water, dish soap and cayenne pepper (and a whole lot of extra clothing!)