We have plenty of wild concord grapes on ourproperty. However, the insurance company doesn't approve of our harvesting methods so it'sprobably best to plant some cultivated grapes. When I cleared the land for the greenhouse,it left plenty of area to plant various fruit producing plants which don't need the greenhouseto thrive. Plus why waste the space just growing grassé Taking a look at my 3rd grade drawing skills,I'm going to set three 4x4x10' treated posts 34 feet into the ground and space them 24'apart. This will allow for 8 plants in the space. Then I'll string 12 gauge galvanizedwire starting with the first wire 4246quot; from
the ground, then space the other two 12quot; apart.The plants can be spaced 6' apart and over time the vines can be trained along the 3wires. I had planned to set the posts first in theevent that I hit any large rocks while digging, however I blew a seal on the backhoe and hadto find some parts for it. So I took my chances and put the plants in first. The row shouldgo in a straight line and a 100' tape measure works well for marking out the locations ofeach post and plant. Jamming a piece of survey's tape at each mark does the trick. We're goingoldschool and using a pickaxe and shovel and digging a hole about 1 foot deep. Luckilythere weren't any large rocks in the way just
a few roots and small stones that the pickaxewas able to pluck out. Later, looking at the post holes, you'll see why I didn't dig themby hand. Planting the vines is fairly easy. I got theseseedless concord grapes from Gurney's for half price. I just remove the fiber that'sused for keeping the roots damp, spread out the roots a bit, and set it in the hole sothat all the roots that emerge from the vine will be just below the finished level of thesoil. All the dirt that came out of the hole was hardpan so I filled it with nice organicsoil, then compacted it down, and gave it a really good watering. It also importantto cover the area with mulch to help maintain
the moisture in the soil until the roots canget established. These will get watered every day for a couple of weeks. The actual work of planting the vines is quick.It's the preparation of digging out the rocks that takes all the time. A 30 cent Oring and a day to dismantle andreassemble the valve assembly and the backhoe is running again. I can now install the postsfor the wire arbor. It may not be the fastest backhoe, but it beats digging through therock with a pick and shovel. The holes are dug to about 4 feet which will provide a deepenough anchor to prevent the posts from leaning
from the future weight of the vines. Someof the rocks that I pulled out where bigger than the hole. If I had to dig these by hand,I probably would have only dug down a couple of feet, and then would have to anchor theposts with concrete and guywires. It seems like a really big hole for a post,but without an auger with rock drilling bit, it's probably the easiest way to set a post.A little cleanup at the bottom of the hole and it's ready. I'm using 4x4 treated lumberrated for direct burial. I'm not a fan of using treated lumber, but in order for itto last a long time, it's a necessary evil. I like to add two temporary cleats to thepost to help support it while I'm set it plumb
and backfill the hole. I also like to dropa few rocks around the base to hold it in place when I start to fill it in. I'll fillthe hole several inches at a time and compact it between each layer, then clean up the areawith some more woodchip mulch. The first wire starts roughly 4246 inchesfrom the ground and the second and 3 wires are spaced 12 inches apart. It will be theperfect snacking height for the deer. At each marking I'll drill a 38quot; hole through thepost and then put in a 516quot; eyebolt. The back side has a large fender washer and nut.Having a large washer will help to keep the nut from pulling into the post under the weightof the vines. It's fairly important to make
Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Infestation in Southwest Michigan April 2012
Hemlock wooly adelgid is a small, aphidlike insect that sucks the sap from Hemlock trees.It was first discovered in Virginia in 1951, and sincespread a from Georgia to Maine. And has decimated a large proportion of theeastern Hemlock resource. Well, it's a potential threat to over a hundred million Hemlock trees that we have in Michigan. Hemlock forest provide critical habitatfor animals and wildlife, particularly trout, who like to thrive in the
cool streams that come out ofHemlock forests. And it's also a threat to the landscapeindustry in Michigan, if it were to become established. Well, the most obvious sign is a verysmall, cottony mass that's attached to the twigg at the base of the needle. And that can be very obvious, particularly at the end of the winter. Some of the other times of the yearit's a little bit more difficult to pick
up on the symptoms other than the treejust may have a generally poor appearance and may take some closer scrutiny to see if it'sactually Hemlock wooly adelgid. Areas where the infestations are very heavyit's been known to kill trees in as little as four years. They can visit our website at michigan.govexoticpests and we have pictures of what people can be looking foron their Hemlock trees to see if they have
the problem, and information on how to notify us ifthey have a concern.
Daniel Huber and the Lyre Trellis System
Daniel Huber, you have a very special training system here in this vineyard.What is the name of this systemé This is the Lyre System. I planted this plot in the 80's and 90's and at that time we had a few years where the grapes didn't mature as much as we would like. At that time Professor Alain Carbonneau was doing research in Bordeaux and was working on his dissertation I actually read it once. It is a piece of mathematical work that analyses how one can get the maximum amount of sunlight onto the leaves of the vine So everything is calculated with top mathematical precisioné I have to be honest, I didn't understand it all as it is quite complicated But he analysed various systems with different angles and through that analysis he found the Lyre System.
This system has a number of benefits. Because of the separation in the wall of leaves they can enjoy more sun during the mid day. So at noon this whole part here is in the sun. Not just the top aswe can see over there, but really the whole area is in the sun. This leads to a higher rate of evaporation from the leaves whichcan more quickly lead to the moderate aquastress that we winemakers like When the plant is under moderate aquastress, then it producesmore phenols and stores up more tannins. By moderate aquastress, you mean that the vine does not haveas much water as it would like to have The plant has enough in order to produce a good wine, but not more And that is of course particlarly important for us here in Ticino wherewe most of the time have too much water And the phenols you mentioned are then exactly the flavor components that one is looking for in a good Merlot
Yes and of course more tannins as the tannins give the wine structure And this training system, do you keep the vines higher or in some other way different from a normal training system Well, this system has another benefit, because the walls are slopedwe can let the sprouts grow longer and hang over When the wall is straight up, then you quickly reach a point wherethe sprouts start to get damaged by blowing in the wind Here we can let them hang longer and then we staple them to thetop wires and we can cut them as late as in July When you have to cut the top of the sprouts early, then you getmore new late growing sprouts Through that you get the leaves more bundled together in the lower area. We really want for each leaf to have its place in the sun. Well, that is what we all want I guess
And with all those new sprouts it is simply not possible. So this isthe whole rationale behind the Lyre System. So this is the Lyre System, calculated with high mathematical precicion.Daniel thank you very much.