Vineyard Observation Report April 2020
The awakening period
The vines moved to the phase where the shoots become clearly visible at the end of the bunches with 4- 6 leafs emerging from each. This phase progresses very quickly which brings an extra vulnerability to the newly developing blooms against the frost risk. Any frost that may occur from now on may have a bigger impact on the vines.
In general, vineyards are awakening and progressing well and widely recovered from the March 17th frost that caused minor damage to the newly surged initial bubs.
At present, grape gall mites and trips are pest types that are observes in the vineyards.
Grape gall mites are species of tiny mites that dwell inside cracks along stems and under buds during the winter and emerge during awakening period. They feed on the underside of leaves and because the formation of thick white hair-like bunches that turn red-brown as time progresses. Grape gall mites are a minor issue on vines as regularly sprayed Sulphur during the initial stage of infestation is quite preventative.
With distinctive feathery wings, thrips are all small insects of 0.04 inch length. Early in the spring mature females lay their eggs on the grape foliage. Thrips such the contents of plant cells and leave a silvering that gradually turns into a brown, coating the leaves with spots of the thrips excreta. The leaves shrivel under heavy attack while the rest continues to grow and the infested areas are torn apart. Thrips cause the buds to fall off. Although common, thrips can be effectively controlled by licensed active substances.
The weather conditions are favorable so far with warm weather and mild showers that soften the climate. As April 17th there is no frost risk until April 21st according to 5-day forecast reported by the directorate of meteorological service. Historically, the frost risk is very low in April, however, in case of its occurrence the damage is very high.