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Early July happenings in the NGP research plots

by Chrislyn Particka

On Tuesday, July 1, I traveled to the Northern Grapes Project training system research plots at Coyote Moon Vineyards in Clayton.  The plots are looking good, despite an obvious reduction in crop load due to the extreme cold temperatures this winter.  

I’ll fill you in on some of the work that Bobby and I got started on Tuesday.  Most of the time was spent in the VSP (vertical shoot positioning) plots; it requires far more hands-on time during the growing season than UK (umbrella kniffin) or TWC (top wire cordon).  This week, we did basal leaf removal, which helps expose the clusters to sunlight.  Here’s a good article (http://www.extension.org/pages/59399/leaf-removal-on-grapevines#.U7WxBPldWJc), posted on eViticulture.org, that discusses why leaf removal is done on VSP-trained grapvines.

We also continued with shoot positioning, and started tipping canes that had grown over 1′ above the top wire; we’ll continue doing both of these as the season progresses.

In terms of winter damage, it’s looking like Marquette sustained much less damage than Frontenac.  Our intern, Bobby Hunt, has collected some pretty interesting data that Tim will cover soon.   In the meantime, here’s a side-by-side comparison photo of clusters in Marquette and Frontenac – these are pretty representative in terms of what we’re seeing throughout the plots.  Note that there’s much better fruit set on Marquette compared to Frontenac.

Marq vs Front clusters July 2014

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