A Time For Mowing
May 8, 2014 § Leave a comment
May 8th, 2014
“What a strange thing!
to be alive
beneath cherry blossoms.”
Spring has come fast and late in Virginia this year, and it’s erupting quickly. When the forsythia and jonquils first bloom I am always reminded of a quote – “Every spring is the only spring – a perpetual astonishment,” – but this year it has really exploded quickly. Partly this is due to the extremely cold winter combined with a cold early spring, pushing back the awakening period for most plants, so that they all came nearly at once, in one big burst.
It’s now the second week of May, and overall we’re seeing about 60%-70% budbreak. Ask me again after this weekend and it’ll be more like 80%. Budbreak was late this year – if there’s an “average” in Virginia, then the 2014 season seems to be about two weeks behind. Also interesting is that the order of varietal budbreak is a bit off this year. Whereas we normally see Chardonnay and Viognier first, coupled with Merlot and some of the young canes in Cab Franc, after which the later varieties begin to break, this year we’re seeing a pretty even break amongst all varietals, save for Petit Verdot, Cab Sauv, and Tannat, which are just starting to push. I’ve asked our neighboring grapegrowers and most are seeing the same. It will be interesting to see whether the timing of flowering and bloom adjusts to this pace or not.
“It is Spring again. The Earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.” – Rainer Maria Rilke