Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Wasps of Wrath

Mother nature again showed who's boss in the vineyard.

If you've been following along, you know all about our little grape patch. 90 vines, 6 different varieties, and all of God's creation out to get them. Deer, birds, rabbits, bugs, fungus, mold, not to mention early frost, lack of rain, and even hail have tried to lay waste to our little babies.

So this spring we employed a little defense in the form of grow tubes. Basically a 30" tall plastic cylinder, grow tubes keep critters at bay while the vines reach up to the first wire on the trellis system. This is a big step for the grapes, because the new vines that grow next year off of these main trunks will produce grapes!

Fall means it's time to take off the grow tubes so the vines can "harden off" or get ready to for freezing weather.

So I go to take off the first tube and out flies an angry swarm of wasps that had made it home this summer. Did I mention that some of God's creation is also out to get the grape growers. Poison ivy has been our main nemesis, but skeeters and chiggers have done their fare share of damage too. But this was the first wasp attack.

After the welt from the wasp sting went down, I made another trip to the vineyard armed with bug spray and got all the tubes off.

After all the tubes were off, we pruned the vines down to the best trunks and tied them to the trellis. Now we have to wait all winter to see who survives the next round of carnage that Ma Nature slings our way.