Glorious Spring rain is marching into the wee hours of tomorrow even as I type. Its wonderful to have non-freezing precipitation early in the growing season—especially as the rain brings cooler temperatures than the unseasonable upper 70s & 80s from earlier this week. If the rains continue into the weekend, there will be a wet slog in the vineyard.
The Vineman and I were talking about the likelihood of a stinkbug rally this year, since as we remember it, we had one good snow this winter. Tim Wheeler’s article: Fruit growers fret over early spring discussed Maryland wine grape grower’s take on the wearisomely warm start of the MidAtlantic growing season. In the article, Ed Boyce echos our bug concern.
Until we get to that stage, we’ll attend to the tasks before us: shoot thinning. Vineyards in Virginia, especially nestled around the Piedmont of the Blue Ridge mountains, are debudding right now—a step before shoot thining. Dave McIntyre’s post: An early spring buds hope, and uncertainty, covers Virgina vineyards’ efforts well.
The kick-off to the 2012 growing season is fierce—but that is what growing on Maryland’s Coastal Plain will get you! Typically, we are two weeks ahead of Maryland’s Piedmont Plateau and westward. Its a challenge, all right, but the love of the land and what is wrought from his hands keeps the Vineman and his family’s feet firmly planted.