Rain and pseudo-budburst


Drizzly all day.

And grey too.

Bit nippy. Maybe 8C. Not the same at Rock Lodge this week as last.

And to top it all we had a somewhat flat day task-wise. We spent most of the morning (and last bit of afternoon) tying down. The lesson learned here was to tie down before the buds get big and woolly, as they were today, since it’s very hard not to knock some off hence damaging the vine’s likely yields. Oh, which reminds me…..how am I at tying down compared to the standard piecemeal rate of a Bordeaux peasant, after my dismal comparisons with the reference rates at pruning and pulling out? Well, this morning I reckon I tied down about 350 in 2 hours, so 175 per hour. Consulting my reference sheet I see…..182 an hour! I’m nearly there, or more likely I wasn’t doing it right. Still learning. Still learning.

The rest of the day was spent pruning the few remaining vines, thought these were challenging since the two areas we did were two extremes. The first lot (not sure of variety) seemed weak and hardly had canes to tie down. The second lot, rondo (a hybrid variety) had huge charge counts (20-30) or unusual whitish 1-year-old canes and it took some juggling the jungle to sort things out.

Oh, it’s worth mentioning that whilst pruning a young dornfelder today I found some fledgling leaves, albeit inside the vine guard. Do I get the prize for spotting the first English budburst? I guess not – we’re many weeks away from that properly yet. The dornfelder buds elsewhere were a lovely reddish colour, and very swollen. Spring really is in full swing.

I had spent the early morning from 8am collecting weeds for another project assignment I have for college, duly popping them into a couple of flower presses I stole from my daughters. I stayed on in the evening to get some more.


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