Showing posts from June, 2009

Organic Undervine Weed Suppression

These photos (above), from a Sellicks Foothills vineyard, show a good example of organic weed control and how mulches can improve your soil. This vineyard has been applying mulches for three seasons. The undervine area has now got a thick covering of mulch made from waste plant material and tree barks. No significant weeds grow through it only some patches of clover and other 'soft' plants.
The owners have also been adding complex organic matter (in the form of Lawrie and Co's Biologic Blend). This is to help increase the amount of soil organic matter.

Spotlight - Important to read the label closely

Just a note about Spotlight plus tm (a Group G Herbicide) the replacement for Hammer as a spike for broadleaf weed control.
Looking at the Spotlight tm label the first rate you see is 300ml/100lts – This is for de-suckering grapevines!
Do not use that rate when spraying weeds!
The spike herbicide rate is similar to Goal an alternative spike herbicide also commonly used.
Spotlight = 40ml/100lts This gives a recommended per hectare usage of between 100ml to 300ml/hectare.
Derek Cameron says, "Use 4 x the previous Hammer rate." Derek also says, "be careful using Spotlight as a spike with Jaguar (a Group C/F Broadleaf Selective Herbicide) as the Spotlight makes the Jaguar work too well and begin to affect your covercrop."
As always read the label for more information.

Mains water price rises.

Irrigators with mains water - olives, grapevines and other commercial uses will pay $1.88 kilolitre after their initial 120 Kilolitres at $0.97.
See the text from the government gazette below.
Water Rates in Respect of Commercial Land
AFTER consultation with the South Australian Water Corporation, I fix the water rate under section 65C (1) (d) of the Waterworks Act
1932, in respect of water supplied to commercial land for the financial year commencing on 1 July 2009 and ending on 30 June 2010:
(i) for each kilolitre supplied up to, and including, 120 kilolitres—$0.97 per kilolitre;
(ii) for each kilolitre supplied over 120 kilolitres—$1.88 per kilolitre.
Dated 4 December 2008.
KARLENE MAYWALD, Minister for Water Security

Mycorrhizal Fungi

Secret weapon in soil.
Mycorrhizal Fungi form a symbiotic relationship with over 90% of all plant species including grapevines. They form a huge extension of the plants root system allowing it to access far more soil volume. In return for sugar from the plant roots mycorrhizal fungi provide the plant with predominantly Phosphorus and Zinc but have also been associated with increased levels of all nutrients, improved water uptake and decreased salt uptake. Mycorrhizal fungi achieve this by increasing the volume of soil the plant can access by 100-1000 times. Add to this the mycorrhizal fungi’s ability to produce chemicals and enzymes to release tied up nutrients and you have a relationship that you really want to encourage.
The American Journal of Enology and Viticulture has published a number of papers (both glasshouse and field trials) showing improved plant function when vines are associated with mycorrhizal fungi.

In Australian soils mycorrhizal fungi have depleted over time throu…

Soil Moisture Monitoring Data

This graph was produced this week. The vineyard is a heavy red brown clay in the Sellicks Foothills (Colville Rd - west).
It shows that water has infiltrated 100cm depth on this soil. The profile is not yet full and more rain is needed to push moisture into the subsurface and flush salts from the soil.

Winter Blues

Mist, frost and fog blue the pasture while the winter chill drops the last of the vine leaves.