Now is the time to…

 

Previous reminders mentioned some considerations in regard to vine pruning. Since that time, bud dissection has shown that some buds on frost-affected vines had low fruitfulness, and a high degree of bud necrosis (dead buds!). Where there has been re-growth, more fruitful buds remain.

This should not be surprising, and some can be seen with a good hand lens. Many frost-affected areas still remain to be pruned, as growers leave them until later to encourage later bud burst, and therefore reduce the likelihood of frost damage again in the impending season.

When pruning a frost-affected patch, it would be a good idea to take this issue into consideration, and set the current pruning levels accordingly. Now is also the time to consider control of vine scale where they have been a problem in the past season. The ideal time for oil sprays is immediately following pruning, and in the early stages of dormancy.

Vine scale is not always a pest, and controls should only be applied where they are justified. Make sure that you confirm permissible control options with your relevant winery prior to application.

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