Grape Disaster – So What’s New

The old saying is “every time God closes a door he opens a window”  Well it runs the other way too.  Every time he opens a window, he slams a door.  We have had perfect rain this year for most of the gardens but it has killed most of the grapes.  Remember the picture I showed you in the spring of all those beautiful clumps of grapes?  Well, we just went out and picked off about 80% of them.  We have raised grapes for over 10 years, here and in Blairsville, GA.  We have always had some problem with the black spot fungus but never like this.  So I read up on the problem and find it spreads or gets worse when there is too much water.  Our land drains well so there is never any standing water so the grape roots don’t mind but too much water weakens the grape plant enough that the fungus can attack the whole plant, fruit, leaves and stems and that is what has happened this year.  More than half of the grapes look like they are rotting on the vine, then they dry up like a raisin, these are called mummies and then when it rains they burst and send spores all over the plant and reinfect it.  So the first thing we had to do is pick off all the infected grapes, cut off as many leaves as we could that was blocking the sun from the grapes and rake up everything under the vines so there would be no mummies left to spread the spores.  When we put in the vines 7 years ago it had said to mulch the plants to keep the weeds down and to help hold the moisture but for mature grapes now I find out you need to keep the ground under the vine clean, weed when ever anything tries to grown there and pick up any grapes that fall right away.  Many plants have shallow roots so want the mulch to protect their roots but grapes have very deep roots, I remember that from Blairsvillle, those roots went under ground way over to the vegetable garden to get extra food and water.  There are some grapes left on the vines now, I just hope we have the infection under control so those few that are left will be there for our jelly.  We will need to buy extra apples to make juice for the winter and spring.  Anyone want to buy a nice farm?   Now I am waiting for 10a.m. so I can call and see if the canning tomatoes are in yet.  Last year they were $8 for a 25 pound box and we can’t grow them for that so I hope they are the same this year.  It has been good weather for tomatoes and there are no bugs or animals that like them exempt the tomato worm that hatches into an underwing moth and they are easy to see and kill so they should be lots at the market this year again.  Have a great day!

About Carol (Ouma) Petts

I am a retired teacher. I have taught all levels from kindergarten through college and have been retired now for over 20 years. The last ten years we have lived on a farm and lived off the land, growing our own food and canning for our extended family. Now we have sold the farm and are moving to Florida to truly retire. I guess I have always had a short attention span as this is our 11th move. We have moved from a small farm in New Hampshire, to more city type living, small business adventures, focusing more on traveling, Florida living, Georgia, and Tennessee farming and now back to Florida. My blog is a way to keep my children up to date on what I am doing and letting them know I am still alive and well. My children are spread across the country from New England to Florida, Nova Scotia to New Mexico and CA and several places between, They let me know what they are up to by commenting on my blog but they are so busy with their own lives most times I have to assume " no news is good news". Now I are starting on a new adventure so will try to give daily updates until we get settled into a routine. Then I know even if I am getting older and should settle down I will start looking for some new and exciting adventure to start. Welcome aboard. Norman died Oct 30, 2017 so I am continuing the journey alone with the aid of my children, grand children and great grand children. At present I am living with my daughter and we are 7 in one house and cover four generations. We range in age from 7 to 85 and are finding common ground, we are living proof that multi generations can live and function in a three bedroom house if they really want to. Soon my grandson will have his house built next door so we all will have a room of their own except for the seven year old twins who by choice will share a room.
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