Sunday, March 27, 2016

Soil Testing Information

Post Harvest Grapevines EL 45.
The time has come once again to accurately perform soil testing in grapevines, olives and almonds.

We have completed soil testing with some growers already, and have been undertaking extensive soil amendment work

It is recommended that soil tests are performed on existing vineyards every 2-3 years to accurately assess changes over time and to avoid running in to large deficiencies down the track.

Soil tests are particularly important where growers are using underground water sources that are high in sodium, or salts. If sodium levels are build up in your topsoil, 10-15cm, this will reduce crop health, quality and yield.

Salinity problems are caused from the accumulation of soluble salts in the root zone. These excess salts reduce plant growth and vigor by altering water uptake and causing toxicities.

Soil Test Options. 

Top Soil Test - Soil nitrate, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur, copper, zinc, manganese, iron, boron, pH(water), pH(CaCl2), organic carbon, salinity, chloride, aluminium, exchangeable sodium %, and exchangeable sodium, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

A soil test example of a soil with high sodium and salinity.
Sub Soil Test - pH(water), pH(CaCl2), salinity, chloride, boron, organic carbon, exchangeable sodium %, and exchangeable sodium, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

Microbiological Soil Test - Numbers and types of micro-organisms in your soil.

Contact DJ’s for information and costs per hectare for certified organic fertilizer, mineral fertilizer and gypsum. DJ’s also specialize in custom blending for specific soil types and issues.

For more information -

Monday, March 14, 2016

Shoot Growth Post Harvest - Is this a problem?

The importance of the post-harvest period is largely determined by climate, variety, yield, and management prior to harvest. Vines will tolerate a season or two with limited post-harvest irrigation, but productivity will eventually be reduced if this continues over many seasons. In the same vain they are thought to tolerate excessive irrigation and fertiliser for one or two seasons before  the vine becomes unbalanced. 

Clearly in the picture below the rate of fertiliser and irrigation has been too high and the vines have re-shot.
Excessive shoot re-growth in Shiraz - 3/4/13.
With all organic options it is best to check with us and your certification body before use! 

For conventional vineyards DJ's also recommend using 'soft' fertiliser products instead of Urea which is straight Nitrogen. DJ's use techgrade MAP, NutriPHlow or a specialist fertiliser like KRISTALON which contain a combination of Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium.

We recommend this because:
  • Like carbohydrates, grapevines require a supply of nutrients from stored reserves to support growth in early spring. Nitrogen in the roots and wood follows a similar pattern to carbohydrates and post-harvest applications will influence the nitrogen status of the vine in the following season.  
  • These products are highly soluble.
  • The role of other nutrient reserves is less well understood, but post-harvest uptake of phosphorus does appear to be important. To a lesser extent, magnesium, calcium and potassium uptake after harvest will also contribute to growth in the following spring. Little is known about the role of other nutrients carried over winter in grapevine tissues.
Further reading.