Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sulphuring grapes

Last year, apart from the annoying pest of wasps who like to suck out our juicy grapes (and make our life difficult because I'm literally anxious to step out of the house once they arrive in swarms), we lost half our grapes to mildew. This year, we decided to act in advance and sulphur our grapes. Grapes are still considered organic once sulphur is applied.

It was our first time to do so, so before I went ahead with it, I checked out some gardening forums. It's recommended to buy a sulphur dusting device, but right now something like this is just out of budget for us. We didn't even buy the sulphur dust – it was in our storage shed among gardening supplies and other goodies we inherited from the previous house owners, such as a refrigerator, a washing machine, two sofas, oodles of baby and children's clothes and some kitchenware. And yes, I do realize how lucky we are, by the way – we have bought a new washing machine by now, but it was such a relief not to have to buy it right when we were married. We are still using everything else. Sturdy, homelike-looking sofas in great condition, and a nice spacious refrigerator in perfect working order – what a great gift to a new couple.

Anyway, the grapes. In one of the less professional forums, someone suggested putting some of the sulphur dust into a thin cloth, tying it, and shaking above the grape vine to cover it in a coat of dust. I tried it, and guess what, it worked just nicely. I did it for the front yard vine, which is low. The back yard vine is propped on taller trellis so I will probably have to use a stepladder once the berries start to appear there (our back yard vine is of a later-ripening variety than the front one).

By the way, the picture above is from last year. Sulphuring must be done while berries are still tiny, which is 
about now around here.    


SweetPeaknits said...

I love reading your blog. Interesting fact about the sulphur, not that I need that here. I doubt I could grow grapes here because of our climate. Are you originally Israeli, your english sounds more mothertongue than second language. Would love to hear back from you.

Persuaded said...

Those are lovely grapes... may the sulphering bring you a bountiful crop this year♥

American Niqabi said...

I wish I had grapes growing at my house. *jealously plots to steal grape trees* (Just kidding :D) That's a lovely photo by the way. :) All of your photos are.

Anonymous said...

Hello Anna,
Can up put up any wasp traps to help eliminate some of the wasp problem? Each spring I hang up 4 and usually 6 traps. I find I have the best success with the kind that uses attractant. This has helped to keep them from making my eaves their home location. I hang my attractant loaded traps during the cool early morning before the wasps have gotten up for their morning "cup of coffee"!
~Mrs. R

Nonni said...

After reading about your wasp problem, etc and how it is preventing you from leaving the house, I would be inclined to get rid of the grape vines before a child is severely stung.