Summer Heat And Water Stress

I wrote before that watering my bonsai vineyard can be tricky. Too much water reduces the quality of the fruit and can delay dormancy. All plant life needs water, however, and too little can harm the vine. If you’re growing grape vines in pots, none of the local knowledge about climate, soil, and irrigation apply. All the research, that growers have access to, wont help you. I had been watering once a week, and keeping an eye out for water stress. Well, yesterday I found it. The one and only cluster on my Swenson Red is shriveled, dry, and dead. Maybe I just don’t have a good eye yet, but I didn’t see any signs of trouble; the leaves and tendrils looked fine. The other vines look to be in good shape, but I took this as a warning and I now intend to water twice a week. I learned something about my bonsai orchard too.

I had been treating the fruit trees, I also grow them in pots, just like the grape vines. I’m still curious about how some viticultural techniques; like leaf pulling, cluster thinning, and withholding water during fruit maturity; might apply to other fruit that’s being grown for wine. My fruit trees haven’t been doing well on the strict watering regimen, though, so even if they can benefit from the ways of grape growers, I’ll have to be careful to give them enough water.

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