Spring, work in the vineyard

Spring, work in the vineyard


After the long winter rest, the vine finally starts to vegetate again.

The buds, timidly sprouting at the end of March, are ready to grow and, towards the end of May, to reveal the flower of the vine. Not many pay attention to it, but the vine is blooming right in the heart of spring. It is a yellowish or light green inflorescence, whose corolla is made up of petals welded to form a sort of cap, called caliptra. Pollination occurs mainly thanks to the wind and will give rise to the growth of the bunch.

The spring vegetation of the vine is a delicate phase, yet rich in energy. But what are the works that accompany the vine in this period? Let's find out together!


THE WORKING OF THE SOIL

Milling and green manure

After winter pruning, which takes place on the dry part of the vine to select the best shoot from which production will be obtained in the following spring, much of the spring work in the vineyards is dedicated to the soil. One of the first operations to be carried out is inter-row milling, which consists in the surface handling of the soil. Milling helps to aerate the soil, making it softer and ready to welcome the heat and rains of the new season.

If grassing with legumes or other essences has been chosen among the rows (mustard with a beautiful yellow flower is very common), green manure is provided. That is, the plants are mowed to be chopped and buried. In this way their transformation into humus is accelerated, which increases the organic substance of the soil, guaranteeing new energy to the plant in full vegetation. Green manure also has the purpose of moving the soil slightly, favoring air circulation.

THE BINDING

A fundamental operation of spring, which precedes any green pruning, is tying. It is a delicate and exquisitely manual intervention. The fruit head, or the branch from which the fruiting shoots will develop, is tied to the iron wires that run between the posts of the vine. The binding has the purpose of making the vegetative development of the plant uniform and balancing the grape production according to the Guyot training system which is the most used in Piedmont. The Guyot, compared to other forms of training, guarantees low and excellent quality productions thanks to the reduced load of buds on the fruiting head.

GREEN PRUNING

From March until late June, a lot of work is done on the green part of the vine. The aim is to regulate each plant in its vegetative development (even for the years to come), balancing the growth of the shoots and facilitating the ripening of the bunches, which must be few and of excellent quality.

The suckling

Finally, suckling consists in eliminating the shoots that develop from the trunk of the plant (suckers) and which steal nourishment from the plant itself. Their timely elimination - which can also be done several times, between April and June - allows an adequate development of the plant according to the desired form of cultivation and, like all green pruning actions, has the final purpose of directing the plant to focus on the quality and development of the bunches.

Pollarding

Following the germination, the "scacchiatura" (pollarding) is carried out. The cacchi are the shoots that arise from the lateral buds with respect to that of the fruiting head. They are often sterile and are not useful for the ripening of the bunches: their elimination allows a better passage of sap towards the main shoot, enhancing its growth and transformation into bunches.

Defeminellation

The removal of seed consists in the elimination of those shoots that originate from ready buds. Females grow in the armpit that is created between the shoot and the leaf. If you let them grow, they would in fact become new branches. With the removal of seeds - as through the removal of the vine - the energies of the vine are preserved, concentrating them in the production of the buds that are to be brought to fruition. However, we must not exaggerate in removing the feminelle: from some of them the leaves will develop, useful for protecting the bunches from the summer heat.

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