Some varieties are doing ok… but the Catawba has been hit with black rot. I’m about to throw in the towel with these. I’ve been diligent in cleaning out the vineyard last fall… spraying early… before, at and after bud break… Did captan once…waited two weeks and been on a regimen of spraying 1-2 times a week with Stylet oil. I have done cluster thinning, canopy thinning to let air blow through… all to no avail… The black rot is HIGH-PRESSURE around here this year. I am suffering like a mo-fo.

I’ll be contacting Bruce Bordelon at the Purdue extension next. I just went in and plucked clusters… and rotten berries to get out everything I can. I have it clean now. Thinking of spraying again. Right now, it’s latched on to my Catawba the hardest (not as bad last year) The others are OK but I’m still picking leaves and things off as I see them.

See the pics. Here are the questions I’m posing to my experts.

  1. Is it true I should be pulling out leaves, clusters… and whole stems that I see are infected? Just don’t want to overdo it for the storage of needed carbs over winter.
  2. True that we want to pull leaves to give wind and sun a direct route through?
  3. If the pressure is high and black-rot is eminent, what do the experts try?
  4. Regarding pruning: Would like training suggestions on what to do with some of my double trunks… and lower cordons. I’m seeing that lower cordons are just a direct transfer of rot from the ground to higher up. I have cut them off of some

Growing grapes is a task. I respect vineyard managers. I would like to think as my vines mature that they would build up an immunity to the rot in future years. Will report again next month.