Friday, 1 October 2010

The Vineyard in Autumn

The growing season is pretty well at an end and we are now busy getting the vineyard in good shape for the winter. At this time next year we will hopefully be preparing for our first harvest (volunteers welcome!) but there is no fruit this year as vines don't produce any real fruit until their 3rd year. What fruit there was has either been eaten by the birds or cut off so that the available carbohydrates have been used for growth of the canes and the root system. Next year we hope to get around 40% of the total possible yield from the first 5 acres of vines which could be as much as 6 tonnes.

The vines we planted last year have recovered well from the severe frost in May. The woodchip has worked well as a mulch and there are very few weeds. The grass between the rows will need cutting before the winter. The newly planted vineyard is being cleared of weeds and will be seeded with grass between the rows next week. The whole vineyard has been given a final spray of compost tea and various nutrients will be added in November to try to address Boron, Magnesium and Iron deficiencies.

Over the winter the main job will be to prune the vines. This will probably start in January and be completed during February and March. The new vines planted this May are doing quite well but because of the dry summer haven't grown as much as we would have liked. This will mean that they will pruned to just two buds to encourage root growth and a strong new cane next year.