The Battle of the Weeds is Won...for now!
Weeds are one of the biggest problems for an organic vineyard, especially when new vines are trying to get established. Its amazing how mother nature so quickly takes over with all sorts of vegetation if the land is not managed. In my case the major offenders include Rape, Charlock and Thistle.
Thanks to the efforts of Ivan and the team, Philip, Ken, Michaela her team, my brother Paul, JB, and my daughter's many male friends (a lot of labour!!) the vineyard is now fairly free of weeds and is looking good. How long that will last I don't know but we're now planning to keep the weeds at bay by using some more wood chip mulch as well as sowing between the rows with a Cotswold mix. No doubt more labour will also be required!
Overall the vines are doing very well and most are up to the first trellis wire. Michaela and the team will be in next week to do some further tying up and debudding.
It seems that I have very few vines that didn't flourish. The stats are as follows:
Chardonnay planted 2977 - 10 died (0.34%)
Pinot Noire planted 2986 - 21 died (0.70%)
Pinot Meunier planted 1723 - 9 died (0.52%)
Seyval Blanc planted 849 - 19 died (2.24%)
Total planted 8535 - 59 died (0.69%)
Not sure why a larger % of the Seyval died but overall a very acceptable mortality rate!