Frost damage in the Paso Robles area “wasn’t as bad as everyone thought it was going to be,” according to Lowell Zelinski, president of Precision Ag, Inc., Templeton, Calif. “The farther east you go, the more problems you see, but it’s still not too bad. The Shandon area was supposed to be wiped out, but it wasn’t.”
Bloom is just now beginning on the central coast, especially in the early varieties such as Chardonnay and Grenache Pinot. “Within three weeks, we’ll see bloom in all the varieties,” Zelinski says.
Powdery mildew hasn’t been much of a problem, but it is still a threat, he says. “One of the things to keep in mind is that it’s not just the outside temperature that matters — you need to be monitoring the temperature within the canopy.”
It’s also time to take petiole samples and start making adjustments to fertilizer programs. “It’s best to do petiole samples at bloom,” Zelinski says. “You can do it later in the year, but the most accurate correlation is at bloom.”