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May 12, 2006

2006 Second Spray

Today dawned bright and sunny, a nice change from yesterday. Today's tasks (I thought) were to assemble the shed, plant a few viogniers to replace some that died last year, herbicide the five rows I didn't get to when I did the first round a few weeks ago, then give the vines a big dose of fungicide to last while I'm away for a week. So as I arrived at the vineyard I took a walk through a few rows and realized it was time to do the first pass of shoot positioning, since most of the vines had shoots tall enough to reach the first wire, but were hanging out to the side. Oh boy, this will make the schedule for the day tight. Knowing that, I hustled through the assembly of the shed (so easy with the correct pieces...) and left the doors open so it could dry out from yesterday's downpour.

Shoot positioning is pretty easy work, and you can move pretty quickly, however every now and again you have to stop to tie some vines. I would say the big lesson for the day goes back to some decisions we made during pruning. While we were pruning, we would do some tying of the cordons to the wire, however in many cases we didn't tie the ends of the cordons because the stiffness of the wood kept them in the proper place. However, once the cordons pushed out the new growth, the weight of the shoots caused the cordons to sag down from the fruiting wire, thus many of them had to be tied up. Good lesson to remember next year during pruning - always account for the future weight of the vines and plan accordingly. It took about 2.5 hours to shoot position 2 acres of vines, not too bad for one person. That done, I quickly planted the viognier, and mixed and sprayed the Rely on the five rows, then assembled the spraying rig and did all the cab franc and viognier.

Microthiol Special - rate 2 lb per acre
Dithane DF Rainshield Nt - rate 2 lb per acre

Although it was a hectic day, I can jet off to South Africa with a clear conscience, knowing the vineyard is in tip-top shape.

Posted by Stephen at May 12, 2006 9:42 PM