Journal | May 13, 2019

Hardscrabble Journal

Growth Spurt

May’s weather is predictably unpredictable. While this can inconvenience our morning wardrobe selection, the vines don’t seem to be much bothered by it. Everything looks pretty good at this stage. The growth cycle is at a normal pace, but with the ground being so wet, an explosion of rapid shoot growth is anticipated. The vines seem to be carrying a large potential crop judging by the amount and size of the flower clusters.

But I’m getting way ahead of myself. It won’t be for another several weeks that the vines flower. Early June is the critical stage for pollination and “berry set”. No more of this fooling around with the weather. Warm and dry is needed to set a nice crop. Last year was a bit of a disaster with a very rainy June. We don’t want to do that again.

Some of the vines we planted last year are struggling to get going. There may be some that don’t bud out at all. Last year’s constant rains and lack of sun prevented the young vines from storing good carbohydrate reserves. They went into the winter “undernourished” and may have succumbed to cold damage.

We are now 100% in the vineyard as we shoot thin, shoot tie and mow. Now through the Forth of July is the big vineyard push. Timing is everything. If we get behind it takes twice as much time to catch up. At least the days are long.

Jim Law