March came in with wonderful temperatures and great weather. Hopefully it is "goodbye" to the below average temps. We are trying some new pruning techniques, mostly due to being so behind schedule. Hedge trimmers seem to do a great job when used with care. The wires and the trimmers do not get along. We are looking at using some methods used in the larger vineyards out west. We just don't have the people power to take care of the 13 acres (more or less) that we have in production. The younger vines near the winery still get the TLC that only pruning by hand can provide.
I get lots of questions about starting grape planting this time of year. The secret is to wait. I know it looks nice and the breezes are warm, but don't be fooled. The night time temperatures can really drop in a hurry. April 15th isn't just Tax Day, it is the "average" last frost for southern Missouri. After this time, go ahead and give it a go. Grow tubes are advisable as well. Use a bamboo stake and a grow tube to prevent critters from eating the tasty shoots that will soon appear. It also keeps them from being accidentally mowed over or stepped on. The tubes are reusable so they are friendly to the earth. They are great for berry bushes/canes and other garden goodies.
If you are interested in vineyard management, give us a call or send an email. We'll be happy to talk with you. Better yet, stop by and we'll give you a tour.