In the midst of getting the vineyard ready for planting, we decided to re-landscape the outside of the house. Right now we are tearing out the front porch and replacing it with a different design, installing retaining walls, moving plants, removing most of the grass that was left, adding fences and generally making the place very pretty for our 2nd Annual Summer Solstice Party. I’ve included just a few of the pictures so far from the front of the house. It will be nice when plants start to go in and not just disappear.
Since we put 26 Tons of amendments in the soil last spring, the weeds were very happy to have all those nutrients. It has rained off and on for what has seemed like 2 months. Consequently, we have not been able to mow the vineyard.
In early March I finally got around to it…..what a job! Since the weeds were 3 feet tall in places it was difficult to get the riding lawn mower to mow down the wild mustard and wild radish. Here was my process: Mow down the middle of the row going downhill. Then mow the edges, getting as close as I could without bending the rebar or hitting the posts. I was not always successful, so had to do a little repair after. Then comes the hard part. I purchased a STIHL weed eater and spent five 6 hour days weed eating the 3100 posts. Since the wild radish was an inch in diameter in some places, this went very slow. Now I know why people use Round-Up. After this was done I did another 3 passes with the riding lawn mower at a low setting.
Next I put up the irrigation wire. Pretty difficult to do by yourself but I managed to do them all in about 12 hours in the field. Put in about 2 miles of 14 guage high strength wire and connected them to the post with “Gripples” and “Crimp Sleeves”. I was very proud when Carmine Indindoli (our vineyard manager) said he like the way I eliminated the wire tails. By the way, I learned you have to isolate the wire from the posts or they will rust.
Next task…..lay irrigation hoses, connect the to the wire and add the drips, all 3100 of them!!!
On the bottom we visited a vineyard with sheep for weed control. Joey was not to impressed when they scratched themselves on the plants…..so right now no sheep.