May Reflections

I’ve found tons of bugs…

Ladybug adult on leaf
Ladybug adult on leaf
Leaf footed bug (not a brown marmorated stink bug)
Leaf footed bug (not a brown marmorated stink bug)

Bug collection (picture style) has begun…

I noticed a few spots where the grape flea beetle + larvae were eating leaves,

but did not take action against them…

Damage was mostly on leaves in the fruit zone,

which will be pulled off later in the season to expose the fruit clusters.

More info if interested.

Grape flea beetle
Grape flea beetle

Dan, my older brother, was with me for the first week of May…

We drove in end posts and screwed in anchors (about 200 of each),

End posts & anchors ready to be secured into the earth
End posts & anchors ready to be secured into the earth

and we did a little bit of suckering (removing unwanted growth from the trunks).

 

The typical day this May was 75 degrees, dry, and sunny. Just beautiful!

 

The grape hoe (a tractor attachment) made its’ appearance, and scraped out the weeds coming up from under the vines.

It was my first time driving the tractor down the rows…

Heart-pounding work, no joke.

Tight rows puts the tractor wheels inches from the vines,

and when the hill slants (which is always),

You have about an inch of room for error (or else you lose a vine).

Meticulously, I managed through, no vines lost.

Halfway through May: Suckering done.

Begin tucking shoots into the first catch wire (the catch wires sandwich the shoots together so that they grow straight up, rather than flop over).

At this point, the vines are blasting off toward the sun…

No stopping them, and it’s a rush to get everything in.

No stopping after it’s done though…

Shoot positioning is next (untangling the vines, and making sure they are vertically aligned) for better sun exposure (more photosynthesis), improved airflow (less humidity=less disease), and better spray coverage (better coverage=fewer disease outbreaks=less spray).

Bloom comes suddenly on May 26th,

And within a few days, done.

Fruit set follows.

Soil dug up to be sent in for testing  , petioles gathered. (what’s a petiole?) (what you can do with them?)

It’s the end of the month, and shoot positioning is nearly done.

We’re looking at hedging and leaf pulling for next month.

About ANewVine

Developing the art of making fine Maryland wine. View all posts by ANewVine

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