Saturday, August 21, 2010

Coming Out of Winter

We’ve had rather wet winter this year, but temperatures are starting to rise already (along with the daffodils) and in no time at all, budburst will be here. In the meantime, we’ve been busy pruning the vines, through June, July and August. Most of our vines are spur pruned. For this type of pruning, we cut out the canes (shoots that are now woody) that grew last year, but keep a “spur” of wood with 2 buds at the base of the cane. It will be these buds that will provide the bunches for this years’ crop. Some of the canes are completely removed to allow for better sun exposure and airflow, as well as to ‘guide’ how many bunches the vine will produce. Most of the canes we cut out get mulched in the vine rows and the woodchips break down naturally into the soil. This year, some of our canes were collected, mulched, and used in our compost. They provide a great source of woody material (carbon source) for our compost. Making compost is another main winter activity for us. To learn more about how and why we make compost, have a look at our composting blog.

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