Top tips for your vineyard
Already we’ve got dozens of vines planted around Sydney- check them out on our map.
At this stage, your shoots are just about to (or have already) sprung from your grapevine’s buds. Before that happens, your buds should soften and become woolly as the shoots prepare to emerge.
There are 2 mildews that can attack the leaves and fruit of grapevines – powdery mildew and downy mildew, both of which are a form of fast-growing fungus.
Downy only attacks in the wettest years so no risk of that in 2017! But in Sydney, powdery mildew is a constant risk and your vine will be attacked as soon as it receives 10mm of rain over a 24 hour period. As it has been raining around Sydney the past two days, it’s time to get spraying. But what with?
In the old days, you’d head down to Bunnings to pick up a powerful chemical powdery mildew spray which also works with roses. And it is powerful stuff so semi-regular sprays will protect the vine for the whole growing season. But avoid eating your grapes or using the vine leaves for cooking if you are going down this route.
If you want to go down a more organic route, however, you have a pair of options in bicarbonate soda or milk.
For the milk option, just mix up some cow juice and water in a 40:60 ratio, then spray regularly on your vines and it will protect all but the worst outbreak of powdery mildew. The drawback, though, is milk isn’t as powerful as the chemical treatments and requires a respray after rain to keep the fungus at bay.
Beyond that, don’t forget to water your vine regularly and keep it out of the hot afternoon sun for the best results.