13 November, 2001

Final leaves

When the leaves are gone, it is easier to spot the structure of the plant.

The colourful final of autumn is now more or less a thing of the past. In many vineyards the interlacing branches are naked by now.

A day like this one with rain and rough weather is quite similar to what is just another Danish day in November: Grey, windy and wet. It works on putting the last withering yellowish leaves to the ground.

Time to tidy up
In the vines more and more people work again. They mainly tidy up. Spread horse dung or wooden chips. They remove plants with disease. We ought to do the same soon.

Last year Alain trimmed the ill Meunier-vines completely, whilst I carried the branches to the track on the side of the vineyard. Quite a lot of exercize since we have 36 rows, two thirds are 200 meters long, and I could only carry branches from one plant at a time.

This year Alain want to burn the branches directly in the brouette instead of making a big fire in the end. He even wants to find a used barrel to weld another wheelbarrow. Doing it this way he can work alone.

Diseased branches can be burnt straight in the brouette.

Some has resumed the pruning. When all the leaves are gone, the vine is regarded as lying dormant, and you may begin. Others think it is better to leave the vine in peace a while before you work with it again.

Maintaining the ability of pruning
In the end what matters more - after the last leave has fallen anyway - are your own needs and your possiblities of meeting them. For instance, if you have employees you want to keep them occupied with something all the time... or if you have little time - like us - you may have to start early to be able to finish on time.

I think our idea is to hire somebody to do the pruning. But we will have to do some of it ourselves anyway, because there is quite a lot of restoration in the new plot.

At the moment the plants follow neither one nor the other model, they are somewhere in between. On the long term this is not acceptable and also not very smart, since you in this way do not get the advantages of any system: The Cordon de Royat with its old wood, that supposedly gives interesting flavours to the grapes and the Vallée de la Marne, that is fast to prune.

Anyway, I will have to maintain my abilities of pruning now I have worked so hard to obtain them. Our neighbour - who has 36 years of experience in the vines - regularly reminds me that if I do not practise I will forget. A bit like riding a bicycle. Once you have learned it for good, you will never forget, but you have to maintain it a bit in the beginning. I do believe she is right.

På dansk

Copyright: The copyright for text and photos at bobler.blogspot.com belongs to Solveig Tange. You may use my articles, photos or parts of them for non-commercial use and if I am credited as the author. Feel free to link to this site but not in your own frameset please.

No comments: