Pruning the varietal patch

Worked with Kevin and with Alex Tobin. More pruning and pulling out. Also did some minor trellis repairs (using gripples to tighten wires and to connect broken wires). Then, since fruiting wires had been tightened, we tied the new canes down, each in an arc up and over the upper fruiting wire from the vine head and then looping down to the lower (of 2) fruiting wires where a single tie was used just before the final node. Care was taken to assure the canes were wrapped sufficiently around the wires to make canes firm and fully in line with their rows. In some cases the old wood (cane) was left with one current-year shoot on, and this long extension left to be used in spring to replace adjacent vines by lying the growth down below the soil with only the last 2 nodes showing (the bond to the parent plant being cut the following year). After finishing the vines used for grape production, we set about working on the 2 rows of rootstocks with their wild canes and low heads. These we pruned back to 4/5 short (2 node) spurs per vine. Since several vines had died over the years and left spaces in the rows we also left a few of the healthy ones with much longer shoots (6 nodes) to be used in the late winter as cuttings to replace missing stock.

Plumpton varietal patch after we'd pruned and tied down, a few days later after some more snow

Then, in the gathering dusk, it was onto the Fendt with a mower mulch the cuttings which we’d laid down the centre of every second row. Each row took 2 passes to get the full width. My tractor driving is improving but it’s definitely not there yet (a point I think Kevin would fully agree with!)

7 hours worked

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