This certainly is like no other November we know – it is dry and the first really hot day (39°C) was on the 30th October. With two really hot weeks on the horizon, we need to manage our vineyards carefully.
When confronted with a dry season, like we have been for the past two years, there are certain elements that one cannot oversee. Soil water content management is critical, and you can manage your soil moisture even if you don’t have irrigation. Weeds are public enemy number one. They drain the soil of moisture and nutrients – a no-no in a dry year. Here are a few pointers to look out for this month:
- Monitor soil water (for irrigation) with the help of soil probes and satellites. Fruitlook is a vital tool for the farmer. Have a look here
- Weed control is critical. Get rid of all weeds
- Monitor vineyards for Downy Mildew. With this small intermitted showers we are getting the atmosphere is perfect for Downy Mildew. Push up your volume sprayed per hectare and make sure you are spraying systemic and not just contact products.
- Make sure you are giving your plant some extra Boron and Zinc before flowering
- Finish up with your suckering. Thin canopies are vital, but not too thin. A general rule can be applied as two shoots per bearer, with one shoot a bit down to help produce carbohydrates
- Pull up your first canopy wire and clip in the middle with E-clips.
- Tip the extra-long shoots