This week was a little all over the spectrum of what I got to do. On Monday we did the normal Redlands visit, Stem Water Potential, Shadeboard and Paso Panel measurements (I lied last week when I said we didn’t have to do that anymore, we just have to do them once a week!). Tuesday was a little more exciting, we put drip line into the new demo block here at the research center, which we then got to plant later in the week. The demo block is to be used, as well a demo for farmers and home growers in the area, to kind of showcase different varieties of grapes, different trellis styles, and eventually show the growth variances of 4 year old vines compared to 3, 2, and 1 year old vines. For right now the demo vineyard consists of multiple varieties of wine grapes, table grapes and raisin grapes.
On Wednesday we also had to finish putting up the drip line in the new “to be named” research block also here at the extension center. This new research block is going to be planted Monday and will consist of 2 grape varieties (Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon) grafted onto 10 different rootstocks, with 20 vines per treatment with 5 reps, plus the addition of border rows for a total of roughly 2,400 vines. On Friday to prepare for the planting, I had the pleasure of organizing all of the vines into buckets so that we can set the bucket at the beginning of the row and just plant, and not have to worry about messing up the order of the vine/treatment placement.
Throughout the week I got to work on some DNA extractions which was pretty cool, and there’s still a lot more to do. I also got to shadow Joey and watch him do some PCR, which happens after DNA extraction. Overall, this week definitely had a lot of variety to the tasks and projects we are working on which was kind of nice.