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Grape Vine Update June 2010 [Year 2]

06.24.10

Quick vine update for other grape growing nerds. My Frontenac along the house are nearing the bottom wire of the trellis – which makes me happy daily. When I built the trellis, it felt very ambitious to expect the wee little grape plants to ever approach the wires. The bottom wire is 4′ – and should be easily achieved in only year 2. Impressive. I pruned them hard – down to 1-3 buds, hoping to have a strong shoot to train up – which seems to have worked for the vines that survived the spring. I’ve got stakes in the ground with twine running to the bottom wire, and am training them up the twine with vinclips – which are very effective at their job. Training them is one of the more enjoyable garden tasks, no question about that – popping another clip on them as they grow up every few days.

My Frontenac Gris seem to be doing equally fantastic. The Sabrevois and Louise Swenson aren’t nearly as excited to be here – although both varietals seem to have had a similar survival rate over winter. I unfortunately learned the hard way that these vines can survive the cold, but not snow once buds have broken – I lost a few in the spring in the cold snaps. I should have helped them more with some protection. Lesson learned. My intention has always been to see what does well, then propagate those plants to replace what I’ve lost. I’m suspecting that first propagation may happen next year.

I seem to have an aphid problem – you can see them leap off the leaves when you brush the leaves. I’ve had similar aphid issues on ivy vines before, and am fearful that this may become a significant problem. Anybody with ideas, please weigh in. [I've done the 'blast with water' method, doesn't seem to do much]. If it worsens, I’ll get bad-ass on them somehow…

3 Responses

  1. Mel says:

    Ladybugs. They are the only thing that seems to be able to control a bad aphid infestation. I’m certain you can buy them either from wholesale seed stores or greenhouses – or at least the greenhouses could point you in the right direction. There’s probably also some places you could order them (or at least their eggs) online, but I think you’d be better off staying local.

  2. Randall says:

    I agree with Mel, but I have always found that about three days after my MIL demands that the bugs be sprayed with some toxic chemical or we’ll never win the battle, the ladybugs will arrive.

  3. [...] last update was a year ago, almost to the day, so I’m due. Having taken a quick look at last year’s photo, [...]

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