Down at the vineyard: Springtime is here!
The grape vines have finally decided it's properly spring! They're pretty much the last things to come into leaf at the allotments- they're just not so keen on waking up until the cold weather is properly past.
But once they get going, they really grow fast.
Our first springtime task of the year is to make sure that the only shoots growing are useful ones: Otherwise, we'll end up with loads of leaves and teeny weeny unripe grapes instead of the nice big, juicy, ripe grapes we want to eat.
Only the canes from last year will produce shoots which have grapes this year- so all the other shoots growing from older wood need removing as soon as possible, so that the vine doesn't waste energy growing a pointless shoot and so that the wound to the plant is as small as possible. It's best to remove the unwanted shoots when they're just tiny buds- the ones above are a little bit big really- but they appear really fast- a few days ago they weren't there at all!
We've also been mulching the vineyard more as it's in an exposed windy location so the soil is being eroded- not at all good for any part of the environment. And we've been planting drought-resistant herbs such as lavender, sage, marjoram and thyme under the vines too, to make the vineyard a more biodiverse place- especially for pollinating insects.
Showing shoots being removed and a vine cleared of shoots on old wood, then different sized shoots on another vine.