July 10, 2005
Grow Tube Removal
Well since it's such a pain in the ass to spray down the grow tubes, and since my research hasn't found any reason to keep the tubes on any longer, and mostly since the leaves down in the tubes look crappy anyway, I decided it was time to pull off the tubes. Kinda funny - it took an army of people over a week to put the tubes on and I was able to remove them all by myself in 7 hours (3 yesterday and 4 today). Basically you just have to grab each half and rip them apart. I stacked them up every 100' and just went up and down the rows.
One big problem with removing the tubes is that some of the vines (maybe 50) didn't develop tendrils sturdy enough to hold them to the bamboo stake, so now I have to go through the vineyard and tie them up otherwise they just flop around in the wind. And I also have an unproven theory that new tendrils are susceptible to damage from the insecticide - will keep an eye on that next year and try to do some more methodical observation.
Speaking of observation, looking across the vineyard from the upper corner it is clear that the cabernet franc vines are more vigorous than the viognier vines. Based on sighting across the rows, I would estimate that in general the cab francs are 25% taller with more mature shoots, with darker green foliage. Also, within the rows the vines situated on the hill are on average 15-25% taller than the vines on the flat, though at this point I'm not sure if that is due to soil composition (hill is richer - flat is clat) or due to water supply. Have to talk to Doug about this, and maybe we adjust our rootstock selection for the rear of the vineyard for future plantings.
All in all the vineyard is looking great, and now looks more like a vineyard and less like a grow tube farm - check it out.
Posted by Stephen at July 10, 2005 10:29 PM
Awesome! Do you think many of the grow tubes will be re-usable down the road? I'm thinking less snapping and more rubber bands if you do.
The vines look great.
Posted by: Brian at July 12, 2005 2:29 AM