Viticulture Association of the Santa Cruz Mountains
Map with permission of
Bud break. Well, I think it is anyway. It
looks like we may be running 2-3 weeks behind last year. The Chardonnay was
first out this year. Last year the
Pinot broke first. Most vineyards that I have seen are no more that a couple of
inches long at best. By the time you read this they will have grown more,
especially if we get any warm weather.
Spray program. Hopefully many of you were able to
get a dormant spray of lime sulfur on in the warm part of February. Still, this
will not cover you if you canít get in and spray now. Larry Bettiga will join
us at our meeting in late April and will speak directly about the spray program
for this year.
Canopy management will be key to disease control
this year. Expect to go into many
vineyards to disbud or clear out the canopy more than once. Light and air are
the best weapons of defense against disease pressure.
Still, if you want to try something, you may consider the
following strategy: Be sure to
include Zinc and Boron in your pre-bloom sprays. Be careful not to overdo the
Boron but many vineyards in this area are very low in this micronutrient and
deficiencies in the two can dramatically affect fruit set and cluster formation.
There are many Zinc formulations. I prefer the chelated liquid formulations but
many people think it doesnít matter as long as you get it in the tank. The
most common form of Boron available is Sol-u-bor. This is a great product that
dissolves easily. The only problem is that is comes in 50 lb. bags and you only
need maybe a pound or less per acre. If you have a small vineyard consider
sharing a bag of this with a neighbor to reduce storage hassles. (Note: you
can send a message to the VASCM email list, to VASCM@kkn.net,
to see if anyone else would be interested to share a bag.)
Other micronutrients have been shown to affect berry set, fruit
formation, and fruit maturity so consult your petiole analysis to see if your
vines are showing deficiencies. If
you didnít do a petiole analysis last year try to get it done this year for
Happy Spring (it really is Spring).
We will see you out there in the canopies letting in that light and air.
(VASCM newsletter, April 2006)
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