PRUNING CLASSES SPRING 2014

 Learn how to prune your grapevines so they produce a good crop of ripe grapes, perfect for wine, eating, or juice.  Bring your questions so you can get answers to your most pressing problems.

 

Where:          Mitchell Vineyard                     When: Saturday April 5 

                      4252 Sunnyridge Rd 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM    Rain, sun or SNOW! 

                      Oregon, WI                                 Fee: $20 

 

                                                                                   

                                                     AND


Where:          Mitchell Vineyard                   When: Sunday, April 13

                      4252 Sunnyridge Rd 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM    Rain, sun or SNOW!

                      Oregon, WI                               Fee: $20

 

The class will focus on the pruning of vines, including new vines, 1, 2 year and older vines. We will discuss different pruning techniques emphasizing balanced pruning, trellis systems for different vines, and later season cultural practices.

  

Attendees will do hands-on pruning, with a walk around the vineyard to see how different vines need different pruning techniques.

We will again emphasize how important it is to double prune in our climate. We will look at Concord, Foch, Millot vines and point out winter damaged buds and canes, as well as good buds on the same vines. This year some varieteis will show more cold damage than they have in the past 10 years. So, don't prune your vines back too far just yet. You may want to assess damage before you do.

  

Last year we had a mild winter, but, hah, this winter showed us some different tricks. It was cold in early December, followed by many low sub-zero nights in January and February. And as I write this in late March the weather seems to have finally turned round. The snow has been good to help insulate the ground for vines, but I have never experienced a winter with so many cold nights. After snipping away for a brief time I have made some guesses on what has been damaged, what not.

 

The good news;-  Concord, Delaware, Frontenac, Prairie Star, Marquette, Aromella, Somerset (seedless), St.Pepin, St. Croix seem to be in good condition.

Not as good news -  LaCrescentFoch, Millot have some damage, which needs to be assessed and accounted for when pruning.

Bad news - Noiret has moderate or greater damage. Vanessa & Venus (seedless varieties) have nice green canes, but black buds, which means the vines have survived, but there will be no fruit. C'est la vie say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell.

 

The good news for vines is that the temperatures have stayed cold without warm spikes, as we had in February 2012. Usually it is the minimum low that does the most damage to buds and trunks. We've been around -20F a couple of times and the length of the cold may have caused damage as well. Grape vines lose some of their winter hardiness when temperatures don't stay cold over long periods of time. 

  

All else being equal, the better conditioned and hardened off your vines were last fall the less likely they will suffer damage from the cold. All the cultural practices you did, or didn't do last year, may affect this year's crop. Negative factors are: over cropped vines, foliage diseases, insect pressure, overly vigorous vines, and the list goes on. However, the biggest factor of vine survival will be the varieties you have planted. Of the above damage assessment I expected Vanessa and Venus to bid farewell, or not so farewell, but I thought Noiret would do better. Perhaps southern Illinois would be a better location for it.  We have been living with milder winters the last decade. This past winter will give us a better idea of what to expect when the wild and woolly ones come along. 

  

What to do when you have damage?  We will cover this more in our pruning classes, but the first thing to do is to assess the damage. By taking a very sharp knife or single-edged razor blade you can slice the vine buds horizontally and look for three small, differently sized buds - and you want them to be green. Black, brown, or off color is not what you want to see. Green is good

 

Be careful pruning - assess the amount of bud damage before you begin pruning, or hacking away. If you have a lot of damage and you prune too heavily now, you may be pruning off a lot of your crop. 

 

 

 http://www.extension.org/pages/63372/cold-injury-in-grapevines#.Utl8AYco7IV

 http://www.fruit.cornell.edu/grape/pool/winterinjurycanes.html

 http://grapes.msu.edu/winterinjury.htm

 http://www.doubleavineyards.com/p-874-winter-injury-to-grapevines-and-methods-of-protection.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

Vines awaiting pruning at Mitchell Vineyard
March 23, 2012 - that was a scary sight
Kate making wine September 2013
Foch vines end of season Nov 2013

GRAPE PRICES 2013   2014 prices will be set in July 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Variety

 

0-30 lb

31-100 lb

100+ lb

300+ lb

1000 lb

             

Concord

Purple, wine, eat

  1.30

 1.00

   .85

   .78

  .73

Foch

Red, wine

    .95

   .88

   .80

   .78

  .73

Millot

Red, wine

    .95

   .88

   .80

   .78

  .73

Marquette

Red, wine

    .95

   .90

   .86

   .82

  .76

St Croix

Red, wine

    .95

   .88

   .80

   .78

  .73

Frontenac

Red, wine

    .95

   .88

   .80

   .78

  n/a

Noiret

Red, wine

  1.20

 1.00

   n/a

   n/a

  n/a

Delaware

Pink, wine, eat

  1.25

   .88

   .80

   .78

  .73

LaCrescent

White, wine

    .95

   .88

   .80

   .78

  .73

Prairie Star

White, wine

  1.25

   .88

   .80

   .78

  .73

St Pepin

White, wine

    .95

   .90

   .85

   .80

  n/a

Aromella

White, dessert

  1.30

 1.00

   .90

   n/a

  n/a

Espirit

White, wine, eat

  1.30

 1.00

   .85

   n/a

  n/a

Somerset

Red, seedless

  1.30

 1.10

   .95

   .90

  n/a

Vanessa

Red, seedless

  1.30

 1.10

   .95

   .90

  n/a

Venus

Black, seedless

  1.30

 1.10  

   .95

   .90

  n/a

The Finest Grapes for Winemakers and Wineries

Grapes, Weather & Pests

SWD There is a new pest afoot, or should we say awing. It is a fruit fly, which comes with its own tree saw to deposit eggs into soft, ripening fruit, as in grapes, raspberries, strawberries and so on. If it hasn't bothered your grapes this year, it will soon, and it can be very destructive. Your grapes look fine, then 2 days later you notice these small depressions, discoloration, and then rot.  Unfortunately to keep it a bay from damaging fruit, weekly sprays may be needed. More information may be found at  UW-Madison SWD website.   There is also a lot more information out there for the searching.

 

 

 This season has been problematic for growing grapes without using fungicides, depending on what varieties you may have. The cool and wet spring, followed now by a wet and warm early summer, is perfect for disease development. The primary ones to be concerned about are black rot, downy mildew and powdery mildew. In a season like this is is best to protect susceptible varieties before problems are noticed. The 3 most important sprays of the year are the pre-blossom, post-blossom, and first cover spray about 7-10 days later. We are now past this point in our local grapes, but you may still be able to protect your precious grapes if you act now. Your local garden store should be able to supply you with good advice and products, both organic and non-organic. 

Added Note: Botrytris has been showing up in vineyards. Some of the infections may have taken root near bloom time, in late spring, and there is not much to be done about it now except removing infected fruid before it spreads. Dry weather may help some. You can also remove grape clusters that touch each other to try to prevent its spread. An unfortunate thing about many fruit rots is that you may not notice them till fruit begins to ripen or the picking point is near. Then, whoops!

 You can find out more about these diseases and helpful products on the Web. 

 

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Sep 2010 Mitchell Vineyard