Saturday, August 11, 2018

How to stop birds from eating your grapes -- Grapevine pest management

A few days after visiting the vineyard and counting my chickens before they hatched, my buddy sends me a photo of the Pinot Noir vine. The birds had stripped that plant clean! Time for action...

It was worse than I was originally alerted to. When I finally showed up to implement my anti-bird solution, I noticed they got the Cabernet Sauvignon too! Luckily the birds had ignored all the other plants (the Syrah may have had a few grapes chewed on), so all the remaining grapes could be saved. Surprised the whites, which were most ripe, didn't get targeted. The birds probably thought that they weren't ripe....

The foolproof solution to preventing the birds from eating any more grapes is.... paper bags.
Covering all the remaining grape clusters with paper bags will prevent the birds from consuming any more grapes. The birds aren't talented enough to peck their way through the bags, nor will the bags affect the grapes from ripening. I underestimated the number of clusters present on all the plants, but luckily paper bags are cheap. Managed to also pick one of the Chardonnay clusters due to the bagging limitations.
Chardonnay cluster #1
Returning a few days later, I harvested the two plants I had designated at my pre-bird attack inspection: the Symphony and the Chardonnay.
Symphony Harvest
The other Chardonnay Clusters
These grapes will be destined for consumption as food as the quantity is insufficient to make wine. They are very sweet and tasty though! Stay tuned as the remaining reds will be ripening up by the end of the month.

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