Planting prepwork

 We've made it, finally all 12 rows of the vineyard are complete and ready for vines. So by complete, I really mean we're done moving dirt and leveling and terracing and post placing. The todo list remains:

- plant vines (no biggie)

- put in end earth anchors

- put up trellis wiring

- continue the fight with: weeds, moles, deer, beetles...

I have to say, we've learned a lot in the last year. I'll do a comparison here some time of our two approaches with row preparing.

Here you can see a bit of before and after of our top row:

Dirt leveled, terrace built, and seeded with clover. If you find yourself on a bed of limestone like us in the Driftless area you will find yourself overwhelmed with terrace material. We pick and choose rocks as we go, creating the terraced rows to help retain water and make for easier walking.

This weekend we get a bit of a break for a wedding before next week which marks the planting of rows 7 - 12! We've got 3 new varietals coming in. 

Marechal Foch - a nice red wine grape that could be made into a port!

Noiret - supposedly a peppery dark red wine and cold hardy for our winter weather of Wisconsin.

Riesling - our first attempt at grafted vines and our first "real" grape if you think of grapes in terms of most commonly known names. I'm hopeful it wont be too sweet and we can have a nice dry, crisp Riesling. Or maybe even a ice wine if we're feeling crazy.

In other news - clover update: we have teeny tiny clover friends coming into life for us in the vineyard. We're really rooting for them to combat the every persistent thistle. Seriously, thistle is everywhere. Lesson learned - if you clear a bunch of land, immediately plant cover crop. Don't wait. Don't be fooled by the clear, freshly raked dirt, thinking "you'll keep up with it". No chance. Those suckers will get you.

Current clover lbs spread: 

    65 lbs of mini clover (outsidepride)

    50 lbs of white dutch clover 

For full transparency, this clover endeavor also includes a healthy dose of targeted chemical application. I'd love to sit here and say we're fully organic and we tried, but tis not to be. Maybe if we worked this full time or hired staff full time to fight every thistle that appeared. In short it wasn't realistic. The main goal is to get the weeds under control by our friends the clovers before our first harvest season (2023). Fingers crossed.


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