In our new Know your Vines blog series we will share practical tips on what metrics to monitor in your vineyard. This is the first instalment, stay tuned for more as the coming seasons unfold!
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”
Healthy soils are vital in an unpredictable climate and to drive profitability for a vineyard in the long term.
A healthy soil acts as an ecological buffer, it absorbs and allows water to percolate underground in heavy rains, and retains moisture for much longer in periods of drought. For anyone who farms, mitigating climatic risks is key and improving soil health is a low-cost and long-term way to do that. Plus healthy soils means healthy plants, and healthy plants require less inputs.
To begin to understand your soils, you need to go out and a take a good look at what is happening below ground in different parts of your vineyard. After all ‘you can’t manage what you don’t measure’, so assessing soil health is vital to build soil health for your vineyard.
To help you get started with monitoring your soils, watch our short videos below on how to do a few simple soil tests and how the Sectormentor For Vines app* helps you record and learn from your results.
For your vineyard we recommend doing the VESS, earthworm and slake tests all featured here, as well as the infiltration rate test that you can learn more about here. It is always good to look at rhizosheaths as well which is shown in the final video.
*please note: a basic version of the Sectormentor app, just for soil monitoring is shown in these videos. Soil monitoring in the Sectormentor for Vines app is the same, but has additional features to connect with your other vineyard data.
Learn what to look for when you visually analyse your soil structure:
The best technique for counting earthworms in your soil sample:
Watch how to collect a soil sample in the field and see how well your soil structure withstands water:
HOW TO ANALYSE YOUR RESULTS
How to log in to your Sectormentor account and analyse your results:
This is an additional test to assess biological activity, although not considered a key test. Find out what to look out for:
INFILTRATION RATE VIDEO COMING SOON..!
Here is a picture of the setup and tools you need for the infiltration rate test to whet your appetite, and here is a bit more info.