Summer

Summer

Summer is time of year we’re stripping away leaves -- a no spray technique for ‘canopy control.’ Exposing grape clusters to direct sun not only makes them more flavorful, it allows for better air circulation, thus, drier grapes. Moisture clinging to the grapes can lead to ‘bunch rot’ or to mildew -- a fungus common to roses and many other garden plants. Another way to prevent mildew is dusting with sulfur. While its odor may be pungent, sulfur is a safe, organic compound. Even so, to keep the sulfur from drifting, growers typically treat when there is little wind. Most often, that’s after sunset or just before sunrise. We’re also keeping a sharp eye out for pests. Chief among them are spider mites and leaf hoppers. These critters chew up grape leaves reducing the plant’s ability to make those all-important grape-ripening sugars. Common plant predators, these insects attack not only our grapes but your garden, too.