Overview of the past harvest
- Where available, make use of NDVI’s to spot the differences in the vineyards. See if this is due to irrigation leakage, soil (sampling), disease (including Leafroll virus) or broken trellis systems.
- To help the vines build up enough reserves for the next season, apply a balanced fertilizer through the irrigation system (where possible). If you do not have irrigation keep your eye on the weather and broadcast your fertilizer just before the rain.
- In cases where Powdery Mildew was a problem, spray these blocks with Sulphur in order to reduce the spore population for the coming season and to keep the leaves healthy for as long as possible
In the image above there are clear indications that certain areas in this block Chenin blanc where struggling. Using a NDVI and inspecting the problem areas, saline soils seem to be the problem, especially with the dry season we are experiencing. Gypsum can be applied during the winter, according to the soil analysis.
Vineyard planning and pest control
- Start sowing cover crops at the end of April (rain permitting)
- Mark, count and GPS dead or Leafroll infected vines (and Mealybug infested vines) and remove them. (first treat these vines with Imidacloprid to kill off any underground Mealybugs) Order your vines to interplant in the next season
- Put out snail bait with first Autumn rains
- Mark, count and GPS any broken poles or wire clips. Order poles and wire clips to replace broken ones during the winter when the soil is softer
- Fix all broken irrigation lines (this should be done during your after harvest fertigation)
- Take soil samples (this should be done every 3 years for established vineyards) Ask a soils scientist to analyze and interpret it for you
- Get a soil scientist to do a proper grid sampling and soil survey on new vineyards in order to correct any chemical imbalances (only do preparation at optimum soil moisture conditions)
New Vineyard Development
- Order vines for new blocks. Make sure you only order certified material
- Plant poles
- Install irrigation
- Sow cover crops early to prevent erosion and to establish the soil