On the west side of the old vineyard we have a a snow fence which traps snow inside our vineyard and usually covers the first 2-3 rows of our vineyard in 3-5 ft of snow. This covering can actually protect the plant from extreme temperatures thereby protecting the plant from damage. Though the weight of the snow might cause damage if the plant is still young. See pics below.
Shot of west side of vineyard taken from the north.
Grape vines under snow in the west side of vineyard.
Another picture of vines covered by snow on the western side of the vineyard.
Another pic of west side of the old vineyard.
So its that time of year again when we gather clippings for expanding our vineyard as well as providing replacement plants for any winter kill that may have occurred. Basically we take clippings from a group of vines that are on my families farm land and replant them. The clippings themselves are about 6 inches long and with a straight cut at the bottom and a angled cut at the top. (This is to tell up from down when planting) This year we took 600+ clippings and took them to North Dakota State University to plant in there greenhouse until we plant them later in the spring.
Vine clipping from west of vineyard site.
A wild grape vine south of our old vineyard that we use for clippings for new plants.
Clippings from our vines south of the vineyard.
One of the wild grape vines west of the new vineyard.
So far our fish line and cds have worked well in keeping deer out of our new vineyard but, we have the advantage of the being situated by an alfalfa field which seems to hold their interest more than our vines. So this means we need to research other means of keeping deer out as to cover all our bases so to speak. One thing I decided to try out is a product called Deerchaser which is basically a 10.25 inches tall x 4 inches wide box that has been “Engineered with special sound level and light intensity to scare away deer but remain unobtrusive to humans.” I ended up making a stand for each of these boxes (a total of 8) to put into the vineyard with the best possible positioning. So I decided to run a test first to see how well the box worked. What I did was to fill a bucket of feed and put it in front of the Deerchaser on its stand in the middle of an open field (the alfalfa field next to our vineyard) and see if any feed went missing or if any deer tracks showed up. What I found after a week was that no feed went missing (I even had it situated close to a deer path) and that no tracks came close to it. (see pics below) So far so good!
Picture of two deerchasers on stands I made for them just south of the new vineyard.
Bucket I feed that I left out to see if I our Deerchasers worked at scaring away deer from even the most tempting food.
Still the same amount feed in the bucket even after 3 days!
Another shot 4 days later.
Winter has come hard and fast this year for us. Constant subzero temps (as low as -20+ F) and plenty of snow have made for a challenging first winter for our vines. The deer are out in full force though we have only seen one breach of our fish line surrounding the vineyard(photos below) Otherwise the deer have stayed away from the vineyard (so far).
Southern view of new vineyard.
Tracks from our first and only breech in our fish line barrier surrounding the vineyard. Was definitely a small deer. No vines appeared to be munched on.
Another view of deer tracks in our vineyard.
Deer tracks in vineyard.
Deer eating alfalfa west of vineyard.