Sunday, 24 April 2016

Spring Update 2016

This spring we made the difficult decision to cull a few of the under performing varieties.  We felt that after 3 years these vines were far behind where they should be and without significant more work to pinpoint the reasons (soil, nutrients, climate etc.) things would not change.

So goodbye to Marquette, Baltica and Cab Libre.  In addition we also removed Ortega.  Ortega performed well, but its susceptibility to powdery mildew proved  to difficult to control and always ended up spreading the mildew to the neighbouring vines.  While it is sad to pull up living vines, this is what he research was for.

With a down turn in our volunteer pool the last while, we also decided to shorten some rows to make it more manageable.  We kept five full length rows (Siegerrbbe, L'Acaida Blanc, Osceolo Muscat, 48-05-83, Leon Millot) and shortened the rest to about 15 vines.

On the good new front - we are way ahead of last year at this point. As of April 21 the vines showed the following progress:
Osceolo Muscat on April 21


Osceolo Muscat, Chardonnay, L'Acadia Blanc, Siegerrebe, Madeleine Angevine, Petit Milo: all had achieved 100% bud burst with 1" growth already. Osceolo and Petit had closer to 2" shoots.

Auxerrois, Madeleine Sylvaner; , 48-05-49: These were ranging from bud swell to advanced bud swell.

Epicure: Still in the bud swell range.

Labelle on April 21

Labelle, Baco Noir, Leon Millot,  Zweigelt:  All had achieved 100% bud burst with 1" growth already. Baco had closer to 2" shoots.

Regent, 48-05-83, Pinot Noir mainly in the advanced bud swell stage.  pinot are closer to advanced bud swell

Weed control

At this point last year we were still in bud swell only, as it was in early May before we had any bud burst.  It is interesting to note that the order the vines are progressing at is the same, Epicure and Regent for example are always later than other vines.

You can see our weed control has already started for this year.  Our Vinegar solution proved effective and the hope is to hit the weeds a few time early in the season and then cover with a mulch to control them.  this would hopefully reduce the amount of weeding and weed whacking we had to do last year.

As always, if you have any comments or suggestions please post in!