Late Sept-Oct: The leaves turn and we harvest what has not been taken by the birds

At the beginning of September I started to check the sugar content of our grapes in the old vineyard (also known as brix- with our goal being 22 brix) By late Sept we saw that our fish line experiment was not working and that most of our grapes had been taken by the birds. By the end of it we had enough grapes for a gallon of juice to make wine. This time of year also sees the vines leaves changing color from dark green to gold. See pics below.

A picture of one of the grape vines growing wild just a 50 yards away from our Old Vineyard.

A picture of one of the grape vines growing wild just a 50 yards away from our Old Vineyard.

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Sept- Oct. Our new vineyard is growing!

Sept-Oct showed our new vineyard to have had some major growth. Having started as 5 inch cuttings most of the vines finished the season with at least touching the bottom of our trellis system and many of the plants were reaching the top of the trellis system. At the end of the season I lifted the grow tubes of each plant to encourage air flow. See pics below.

I raised all grow tubes to allow for air flow.

I raised all grow tubes to allow for air flow.

An example of the growth that took place in our new vineyard. The initial cutting that were planted were only 5 inches. This show how vigorous these vines are.

An example of the growth that took place in our new vineyard. The initial cutting that were planted were only 5 inches. This show how vigorous these vines are.

Another example of the growth that took place. You can also see that were are beginning to have problems with deer wanting to munch on our plants. The leaves being stripped mid level.

Another example of the growth that took place. You can also see that were are beginning to have problems with deer wanting to munch on our plants. The leaves being stripped mid level.

another growth image

another growth image

September- Our Old Vineyards Grapes Get Sweeter + Bird Control Results

The month of September saw our old vineyards grapes start to sweeten and in turn be a draw for more birds. In my last post I mentioned that we were trying an experiment in bird control with fish line crisscrossing over the vineyard, with an east and west row being covered with bird netting (this would allow us to compare the difference between the two methods.) What we found and what the pictures below show is that our fish line method did very little to deter birds from getting to our grapes. We also found that birds would peck at the grapes to taste if they were sweet enough and if they weren’t they would leave them and then bees (and possible ants) would help them selves to the grapes (only if the grapes were punctured, they never seemed to bother with whole grapes. Our grapes covered by netting suffered very little damage.

Bee helping himself to grapes that had first tasted by birds.

Bee helping himself to grapes that had first tasted by birds.

This picture show bird damage in our test are for fish line. Birds had no problem picking the stems clean

This picture show bird damage in our test are for fish line. Birds had no problem picking the stems clean

Image of our posts we used to prop up our fish line.

Image of our posts we used to prop up our fish line.

Bird damage on vines that follow the perimeter of the vineyard. These vines were neither covered by fish line or by bird nets.

Bird damage on vines that follow the perimeter of the vineyard. These vines were neither covered by fish line or by bird nets.

Aug-Sept Bird Control For Old Vineyard

Aug-Sept saw our first explosion of fruit on the Old Vineyard since replanting it. We decided to try an experiment in bird control using fish line. Using 2 foot poles we strung fish line across the hole of the vineyard in a crisscross pattern. We covered only the two outside rows with netting(as traditionally done) and left the rest of the vineyard open to see if fish line was a suitable deterrent for birds.

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Vines bearing fruit in old vineyard. This shows grapes at beginning of our fishline experiment. No bird damage.

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Vines bearing fruit in old vineyard. This shows grapes at beginning of our fishline experiment. Again no bird damage.

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This shows the netting we used on the two outside rows of the vineyard. Netting does a great job at protection but some fruit can still be accessed by birds if the fruit is up against the net as is shown here.

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Another show of the netting used on the two outside rows. This shows west row covered.

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Here we see the first signs of bird damage in the area covered in fish line.

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One of the poles we used to hold the fish line.

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Shot of criss cross patter of fish line we used over vine yard.

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As soon as fruit turned purple it seemed that it was attracted birds. Though the damage at this point was minimal. I was able to observe birds flying through and around fish line during the day and early morning.

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In the old vineyard we also have vines planted around the perimeter of the fence. These were not covered by netting or fish line.

Late July to Beginning of August- Signs of Growth

Late July and August saw some serious signs of growth for our newly planted vines started to come out of there grow tubes. When we initially planted them at the beginning of July they were roughly 5 inches in length. Now the vines are growing out of their three foot grow tubes. See pics below. Also in the old vineyard we saw some nice beginning of fruit production (also shown below.)

New Vineyard Growth

New Vineyard Growth

New Vineyard Growth

New Vineyard Growth

New Vineyard Growth

New Vineyard Growth

New Vineyard Growth

New Vineyard Growth

Fruit turning color on vines from old vineyard (End of July)

Fruit turning color on vines from old vineyard (End of July)

New Vineyard Growth

New Vineyard Growth

New Vineyard Growth

New Vineyard Growth

Panoramic view of new vineyard

Panoramic view of new vineyard

Panoramic view of old vineyard

Panoramic view of old vineyard

Panoramic view of old vineyard

Panoramic view of old vineyard

Old vineyard from North side

Old vineyard from North side

Another panoramic shot of old vineyard

Another panoramic shot of old vineyard

Old vineyard

Old vineyard

Fruit in old vineyard

Fruit in old vineyard