Cluster Removal – Why We Pick Florets off of Baby Vines
Just as the florets appear on our baby grape vines, we pinch them off and toss them to the ground as compost. Wait! Don’t yell at us. We’re not mean. Cluster removal is tough love.
New Vines Blooming
We just planted a block of Noiret grape vines about six weeks ago. They’re already putting out florets. Those are the little green bunches in the photo below. That’s the part of the vine that matures into fruit.
Our babies are just growing up too fast! Just like our human babies, sometimes we need to reign them in when they want to mature too quickly.
This is the first growing season for these plants. So, we don’t want them putting energy reserves into growing fruit.
We don’t want them to produce fruit for at least two years. So, we pinch off the florets before they can grow into grape clusters.
The energy that would have gone into producing grapes can now go into developing a robust vine and root system.
If we allowed the grapes to produce fruit this year, they may not produce fruit at all next year. The valuable plant energy would be wasted.
This week, we thinned hundreds of vines. They don’t give up without a fight, so we’ll go back out next week to remove any new florets.
It’s a lot of work (No need for the gym with all the squats we do in the field!) but we love it. We get to spend a peaceful day out in nature. Plus, when the time finally comes to harvest fruit from these new vines, there will be nothing like seeing the fruits of our labor.
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