The Vineyard in June

Poppies in the Vineyard (photograph courtesy of John Powell)

The vineyard is looking fabulous at the moment thanks to thousands of poppies which have self seeded in Block B. Unfortunately they won't last for long as Alex is determined to cut them before they seed again in the woodchip mulch!

We are currently busy replacing about 350 young vines that died over the severe winter or were hit by the frosts in May. As this is a manual process it can take some time but Richard is helping out by drilling holes with an auger to make planting a bit easier for Alex. We have also been through the Block A (planted in May 2009) and pruned the canes that were left extra long to try and minimise the impact of frost. The new vines have all now had excess shoots removed and have been tied to the bamboo canes.

Overall the vines are looking healthy; the rain earlier this week was welcome and will help with growth but unfortunately it also brings with it the risk of disease. Next week we will spray the foliage with compost tea, followed a week later (when the vines have blossomed) by Serenade® which contains Bacillus subtilis, a soil dwelling bacterium that helps control Mildew and Botrytis.