Avoiding mildew problems this year

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Last year we suffered a loss of approximately 20% of crop as well as the dying of some 100 old vines overall, due to an initial mildew attack in all vineyards in the Northern valley of Etna as well as powdery mildew in July in the 2 most ventilated plots, Monte Colla and Barbabecchi soprano. The snow and rainfall early in the season of 2011 created a humidity canopy in the valley when the temperatures suddenly raised in the spring and as a result mildew was handling crop thinning instead of us!

Although our goal is not to spray at all, due to this widely spread mildew attack last year followed by powdery mildew in our highest plots which is rare for us, I decided to treat the wood/bark of all the vines this year with a maximum concentrated copper-sulfur solution before the buds open this spring. This is quite a bit of work applying the solution manually and accurately on the vines instead of the soil, but in this way we will avoid problems this and the next years to come with old vines dying from the attacks as well as not having to spray anymore later in the season on the vegetation and the fruit.

manual treatment of vines

Giovanni with the manual pressure pump

 

A compromise for which I take full responsibility, as I do not want to loose more old vines. In a way, we gave our vines a thorough cleaning before starting a new season.

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