Wow! What a beautiful day! I got up early as I teach my Chemeketa Community College Winter Vineyard Practices lab on Saturdays. With a venti cappuccino in hand, we were ready to do some pruning. The students practiced choosing the best fruiting canes and also looked for good positions for pruning the next year. The sunny weather was so nice, everyone wanted to keep pruning……
On Thursday, one of my students brought a cane over to me and said, “Look at this!”. I was in a bit 0f denial as I said….. “What?”. The fuzzy buds! Yikes! This warm weather is likely to start causing bud swell and could promote an early budbreak. If we have an early budbreak this also increase the risk of frost. My action plan is to pick up the pace on getting the vineyards pruned and new canes tied down.
I actually bought the Statesman Journal newspaper yesterday as the front cover article was titled, “Winter drought sparks concerns across the state”. How often is it so dry in western Oregon in January that we have forest fires and the National Weather Service issues a Fire Weather Watch alert! Yes, highly unusual.
There is some rain in the forecast in the coming weeks but it looks to be rather minimal at best. Meanwhile, my action plan is to prune faster, burn my burn piles and get the layout done at my house so I can get my vines planted sooner rather than later.