Tag Archives: insectary

Frozen Pipes – Near Record Lows in Wine Country

Broken Pipe

Yesterday I was out in the vineyard sowing insectary flowers every 10th row.  I’m hoping this will  help our organic vineyard attract beneficial insects in future years.  As I started my day I heard running water near the back of the barn and you can see in the picture above what I found…our  1.5″ vineyard irrigation pipe had broken due to the cold weather and was gushing water!!!  This could have been a disaster had I not been home when this happened as we are connected to a well.

I know it was only 27F, nothing compare to most parts of the country, but I’m guessing the PVC setup was causing stress on the system and the cold exacerbated the piping and it broke!  Looks like another winter project around the vineyard to keep me busy. 

FYI…normally in the winter the low temperature is around 35F, since we are only 20 minutes from the ocean.  Record lows for most months are 22F, so this was pretty cold for us.

27 deg

Cover Crops and Native Insectary Wildflowers

Clover and native wildflowers


To enhance the soil and limit water uptake, typically cover crops are planted.

Next week, I’ll spread 30-40 pounds of clover on the entire vineyard and 5 pounds of Native Wildflowers on select rows.  The Wildflowers will add beauty, but more importantly, be an insectary for bees and good insects to protect the vines.  BTW…clover is about $3/pound but the Wildflowers were $22/pound.  I had better not mow them down in the spring!!!

What is in the Wildflower Mix?  Blue Eyed Grass, California Ble Bell, Chinese Houses, Goldfields, Baby Blue Eyes, Tidy Tips, Birds Eye, Blue Flax, Lupine, Farewell-to-Spring, California Poppy, Arroyo Blue Lupine, Yarrow, Five Spot and Globe Gilia.