Vineyard management

By Terence Bradshaw

Most spraying in Vermont vineyards should be wrapping up as the vines and especially fruit are becoming resistant to most diseases. However, if you have downy and powdery mildew in the vineyard, it would be wise to maintain protection against them through veraison. Vines which have not reached bunch closure may also be protected against botrytis for one last time before veraison and harvest. As always, see the New York Pennsylvania Japanese beetles are probably in every vineyard in the state. Their damage can generally be tolerated on established vines, but vines under 3-4 years old should be protected. Grape berry moth are mostly in pupal stages in Champlain Valley vineyards, although in some inland/cooler areas larvae may still be feeding. Careful and thorough scouting for webbing between berries will determine the presence of the pest. The threshold for treatment against the current generation is 6% of clusters with signs of damage.

Canopy management is critical at this time of the year- every fruit cluster should see at least some direct sun. However, if opening up congested vines at this time, be careful not to fully expose clusters that have been heavily shaded, as the risk for sunburn increases when a shaded cluster is exposed to full sunlight in midsummer.

Get your bird netting ready.