January in Arkansas bears watching for muscadine vineyard owners. The biggest danger is excessively cold weather, which for us is Zero degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature reaches that critical low or below, the risk is almost certain killing of the roots, killing the plant. One protection can be to “berm up” the ground in the fall, mounding it to try to increase the soil depth at a critical point for the plant. By the way, to berm the ground is a particular skill, using a particular berming hoe behind a tractor. In the spring, after danger of the cold weather, the process is reversed to remove the extra soil.

The good news is that we had one brush with colder weather this month, but the single digits did not make it to the vineyard, and the long-range forecast look promising, with moderated, normal temperatures. So far, so good! After January, the chances for single digits typically are much reduced. Maybe you are hearing a slight sigh of hopeful relief from here!