We are getting ready to plant larkspur seed and lettuce transplants in the high tunnel. We are going to plant one bed in the middle of the space to observe how vegetable harvest coincides with the raspberries that were planted in bags last year being moved back into the tunnel for production. Randy, Jeremy and Amanda are setting up the overhead irrigation sprinklers that hang from a wire overhead. The larkspur seed was planted and watered in after the 13-13-13 fertilizer was tilled in at the rate of 1 pound per 100 square feet.
We are pruning the winter hardy cultivars of grapes first and will prune the less hardy cultivars later in the winter. Dr. Anson Elliott decided to check on the pruning progress on this bright and sunny day. Randy, Aaron, Manny and Kellis were pruning the Norton block in the Research Vineyard while Shelia and Jeremy were taking wood weights in the Catawba block. After the Norton block is complete, they will move into the Catawbas.
Pam Mayer is retiring from the State Fruit Experiment Station after 28 years of service. Many nice things were said, the common thread being how we will all miss her work, her work ethic and her willingness to help. We are all wondering how we will be able to manage without her!
Yesterday we collected pruning weight data on the “High Tunnel Production Rotation of Primocane Bearing Raspberries in Grow Bags” project funded through the USDA Specialty Crops Block Grant Program. Today we moved the raspberries out of the high tunnel to the field and then protected them from winter cold with straw mulch.
Today we are collecting dormant season data from the “High Tunnel Production Rotation of Primocane Bearing Raspberries in Grow Bags” project funded through the USDA Specialty Crops Block Grant Program. We needed to strip leaves since they did not fall yet. The number of bearing canes and the pruning weight per replication were collected.
We are waiting (and waiting) for the apple leaves to fall in order to begin pruning – but it just isn’t happening. If deciduous trees don’t drop their leaves as they should, we say we have a marcescent falll. Marcescent means the trees hold their leaves into winter. It is often triggered by a sudden change from warm to cold temperatures during the fall. Trees prepare for winter by absorbing nutrients from the leaves to store over winter. At the same time they to form an abscission layer at the base of the petiole or leaf stalk to enable the leaf to break away from the tree after the nutrients have been absorbed. If warm weather changes quickly to cold, it can kill green leaves before the abscission layer has formed and the leaves are “stuck” on the tree. They will eventually become unstuck, but this will take considerably more time.
We finished harvesting the primocane bearing raspberries in grow bags on October 31 for the trial funded by the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. We noted symptoms of a disorder on the Polka variety, but not on the other varieties in the trial (Josephine, Crimson Giant, Himbo Top, and Joan J.)
Dr. Courtney Weber, Associate Professor and Small Fruits Breeder at Cornell University – NYSAES was consulted about this problem and he mentioned that he had seen this before and it was fairly typical on the Polka variety later in the season. It may possibly be the natural senescence pattern of Polka leaves and does not seem to affect the long term performance of the plantings.
It is important to replace any missing vines in a vineyard so that you maintain maximum productivity. This morning, Ryan Wilson worked with Amanda Gonzales to the Foundation vineyard and note missing and weak grapevines. Ryan and Amanda are students working on their practicum requirements for VIN 111 in the Vesta Online Grape and Wine Program http://www.vesta-usa.org/.
In the afternoon, Ryan worked with Shelia Long, a field and maintenance employee at the State Fruit Experiment Station. Shelia and Ryan collected dormant hardwood cuttings of Vidal Blanc in the Virus Indexed Foundation Vineyard. The cuttings will be put in cold storage and then placed in rooting beds in January. These cuttings will be used to produce vines that will fill in missing spots in the vineyard.
They also selected and buried layers, long canes from a vine adjacent to an empty spot. Part of the cane is buried while still attached to the mother. The buried portion of the layer will root and next spring. The buds on the far side of the mother plant that come up out of the ground will break and grow a new vine next season. This strategy can be used to fill empty places in vineyard where vines are own rooted.