Monday, March 30, 2009

Pruning Finished and Ready for Bud Break

I normally start pruning the end of February and continue to the end of March. With the help of a pruning crew, we finished pruning the middle of March. Since I try to retain two or three trunks, I have two fruiting wires here in Missouri. Last year I pruned and left if possible four canes on the two wires. After a very cool year, I had difficulty ripening all the reds. Therefore, I decided that I would go with a bud count of about 24. I instructed and demonstrated to my pruning crew that we would go with 3 canes, and use your hand stretched out and count two hands per cane. This was about 8 buds. So with three canes we were hitting about 24 buds. 24 buds will make 24 shoots and with two clusters per shoot, we would have 48 clusters. Each weigh about 1/4 lb or 4 oz. Therefore, 48 and .25 = 12lbs. However, not all buds develop, so I figure only 80% of this 12 or 9lbs. per plant.