After a harrowing start to the growing season, the vines are off and running! Surviving the frost was a huge hurdle, and a large success.
Now we get into the heat of things -- quite literally as temps are soaring into the high 80s today -- and figuratively as vine growth has sky-rocketed in the past 10 days.
This was taken a few days after frost, and now these same vines (La Crescent) have pushed well past 3" shoots, and in some places reaching 10"-12" of growth!
This is when canopy management (the practice of manually and mechanically maintaining foliage) begins in earnest. It will start with what I call "suckering": the hand removal of all trunk buds (which have a low likelihood of fruit production) to allow nutrients and plant energy to be directed towards the fruit zone.
Immediately following will be tending the fruit zone, with a big focus on shoot thinning: choosing the primary shoots, in the right location, and facing the right direction. Secondary shoots (those originating from the same node, but with delayed timing, which will cause crowding, shading, and canopy density) will be removed.