2022 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

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R M Kriete
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2022 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#1 Post by R M Kriete »

New year, new thread. Any updates?
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Merrill Lindquist
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Re: 2022 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#2 Post by Merrill Lindquist »

We have had rain and fog for as long as I can remember! Today the sun is out, and the forecast is for mild and sunny. Whew.

The vines are finally bare and dormant. If you go to break off the tip of a shoot, it snaps right off in your hand. This is a good thing.

I will schedule the pruning for 3-4 weeks from now, which to me signals the start of our farming season.
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Re: 2022 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#3 Post by Stewart Johnson »

I'm getting going with pruning, and it's tough to find real promising buds after last year's drought-induced stunted growth. Maybe 10% of the pinot and syrah vines (viognier was a little better) in my exploratory passes had a good cane to lay down. For the rest, I was trying to find good buds on last year's spindly shoots. I didn't have a ton of confidence in the viability of what I was leaving out there, and it was very slow going. In general, it felt like a waste of time. So, I think I'm going to go the opposite direction from painstaking pruning and just do a quick and dirty pre-prune -- mow down everything above the 2nd catch-wire (because last year's canes arch over the 1st catch-wire) and let the vines push out whatever they can manage this year. The exception will be to go back thru to make sure that the positions where I want next year's canes to emerge have only 2 buds so that I get strong shoots there this year. I don't anticipate setting enough fruit that crowding will be an issue, but I'll be pleasantly surprised if that turns out to be my problem. Mostly, I think it's going to be a year when I have to take whatever the vines have to give, in terms of both fruit and vegetative growth. I hope I'll be back to trying to rein them in at this time next year.
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Re: 2022 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#4 Post by R M Kriete »

Stewart Johnson wrote: January 13th, 2022, 2:33 pm I'm getting going with pruning, and it's tough to find real promising buds after last year's drought-induced stunted growth. Maybe 10% of the pinot and syrah vines (viognier was a little better) in my exploratory passes had a good cane to lay down. For the rest, I was trying to find good buds on last year's spindly shoots. I didn't have a ton of confidence in the viability of what I was leaving out there, and it was very slow going. In general, it felt like a waste of time. So, I think I'm going to go the opposite direction from painstaking pruning and just do a quick and dirty pre-prune -- mow down everything above the 2nd catch-wire (because last year's canes arch over the 1st catch-wire) and let the vines push out whatever they can manage this year. The exception will be to go back thru to make sure that the positions where I want next year's canes to emerge have only 2 buds so that I get strong shoots there this year. I don't anticipate setting enough fruit that crowding will be an issue, but I'll be pleasantly surprised if that turns out to be my problem. Mostly, I think it's going to be a year when I have to take whatever the vines have to give, in terms of both fruit and vegetative growth. I hope I'll be back to trying to rein them in at this time next year.
Will the recent rains encourage the vines to bounce back with a vengeance this year?
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Re: 2022 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#5 Post by Stewart Johnson »

The rains certainly help, but it doesn't repair the preceding year's weak growth during the drought. Spindly shoot growth last year means that a lot of buds/positions where you'd like new shoot growth and fruit this year won't be viable, and the vines were less able to produce and store carbohydrates that they will use to initiate growth this year. With abundant soil moisture, I'm sort of braced for rank growth from fewer viable buds and from sucker (unfruitful) shoots.
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