This is the last in the series of entries posts I will be making as part of my diary for the Plumpton College Vineyard Practical assessment.
Today I spent another glorious spring day at Rock Lodge. The tasks were similar to those we’d already done previously in the year: tucking in (both simply by hand and also by lifting up and fixing moveable foliage wires), shoot thinning on vines planted last year (reducing them inside the vineguards down to one shoot so as to encourage the development of one strong trunk) and some post and trellis work. There has been a lot of the latter, and I feel that I and my classmates have done way more than our fair share of this, with a large section of Rock Lodge now to our name.
The vines are still very far ahead this year (about 3 weeks) but the flowers are not yet burst. Many shoots are up to 4-6 buds long, and this depends to some extent on variety.
In the afternoon I had a quick try on the over-vine tunnel sprayer, although I only sprayed water since it’s necessary to have qualifications to spray feeds, fungicides or herbicides. The tractor’s normal hydraulic controls adjust the separation of the curtains and a special control panel which is mounted in the cab controls other features such as the spray and agitation.