Monday, May 11, 2009

Little Details

Having adjusted to the near-term goal of having new vines in the ground, I realized I had to let my psyche know that we still had more to go. We composted the new vines on Saturday to give them a good start in this tough place called Allegro. (There's some irony in the fact that we have difficulty establishing young vines in a place we describe as "lively" in Italian.) This week we'll be about the business of putting grow tubes on them. The grow tubes act like single greenhouses for the vines, encouraging upward growth. We usually keep the grow tubes on them for the first two years in the vineyard. By year three the vines trunks are usually pretty well established, but we'll still leave the steel pencil rods in place to keep the vine trunk as straight as we can.

Some of the established vines are in need of suckering at this point. Most vines (until they're pretty old) tend to send out shoots along the existing trunk. These are removed manually every year to keep the vine from using extra energy in a fruitless direction. We'll start suckering the vines this week as well.

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