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April 9, 2005

Spraying Herbicide

Today was quite simply the most magnificent day I've had working in the vineyard. The weather was spectacular and the tasks were manageable - a winning combination!

The day started by continuing with deer fence post installation. Obviously it doesn't go as quickly with one person (vs. four like last weekend) but it is doable. I put in 6, then decided I had better get started with spraying. Since we're planting next weekend, we needed to get down herbicide in each row to kill the grass/weeds so the young vines won't have to compete for water/nutrients. Ah, but first I need to complete the tragic plumbing fix from a few weeks ago. That actually ended up working out somewhat well, only took about an hour, plus I was able to solder in an external spigot to attach the hose used to fill the sprayer tank. So I strapped the sprayer in the bucket of the tractor (might have to rig something more permanent later...) hooked the pump up to the battery and secured the lines. Mixed in the glyphosate, donned my facemask and respirator and away I went. I figured before I actually got in the vineyard it would be prudent to test the rate of application by spraying the perimeter deer fence first. Took a couple of tweaks to the nozzle but then basically you just get to lean over the side of the tractor and drive around! Since I had put the sun canopy on the tractor it was very enjoyable.

Now that I had the hang of it I went in and started sprayed the rows. 25 gallons of mixture sprayed 14 x 400' rows at a width of approximately 3' with the tractor moving in low gear #4. Didn't finish the whole three acres because I had to call it quits at 4 PM and get showered and over to a surprise birthday party for my cousin Tom Smith (are you really 40 mate???) then over to a truly remarkable dinner at House of Klause. Will finish up spraying tomorrow!

Posted by Stephen at April 9, 2005 10:57 PM