Wednesday, February 13, 2013

To pick or not to pick...

It's a lovely day here today!

...that is the question!
Action Man and I pay close attention to the weather around here, as I'm sure many of you who read this blog do. When you grow things, it affects so much of what you do in the garden on a day to day basis.  And Action Man is always trying to figure out when is a good day to go fishing, or cycling.
At the moment Action Man is trying to decide when to pick our grapes. As you may know, we have about 100 shiraz and chambourcin vines with which we theoretically make our own wine. I say theoretically because for the last three seasons, our grape crop has been annihilated by excessive rainfall. The mildew literally causes the grape berries to rot on the vine. The birds love us, as we just let them go for it. We've made wine, but have bought in the grapes from places that are much more suited to wine grape growing than this place.
This year, though, the upside of our very dry start to summer has been that as of now we have grapes to pick. Not a lot, but enough, and they are in pretty good condition. This is very exciting! The question now is.. when do we pick? Last weekend Action Man tested the sugar content, or baume, or the grapes. It stood at 20. Ideally it should be 24. The question is do we wait for a while longer, and hope that some hot weather will cause that reading to rise? The seven day forecast has showers about every day, and not much in the way of hot weather. So, we may not get the rise in sugar content that is needed, and at the same time we run the risk of mildew. So do we pick now? Or do we wait? It's a gamble either way.
Talk about dilemmas!


africanaussie said...

Oh gosh frustrating and exciting at the same time! We have the same dilemma - is it too early to plant? If we get some late heavy rain we will lose pretty much everything, but if not we might get a headstart on the season.

Becc said...

Good luck with the weather, I would send you some of our heat if I could, 41 here today in WA!