Like most crops, vineyards are a few weeks behind due to the terrible spring weather we have endured this year. The repeated cold nights throughout April meant growth got off to a very slow start. This was followed by deluges of rain during May, which will have washed out much of the spring granular fertiliser applications.
Vines therefore have a lot of catching up to do now! At this time of year use of foliar fertilisers to top-up missing nutrition is the best option, especially if they can be applied as a tank mix with other inputs such as fungicides. NuGro from Hortifeeds is a great ‘all-rounder’ foliar fertiliser for quick growing crops such as vines, to promote healthy and resilient growth. While it is certified for use in organic growing systems, many conventional growers also rely on NuGro, as is a safe natural fertiliser that is easily absorbed by the leaf and starts to provide benefits quickly. A balance of major nutrients combined with trace elements and also a full range of amino acids are key components of NuGro. These amino acids are a great plant stress tolerance aid.
Forecasters are expecting the summer to be dry and hot, and we are certainly due some more hot weather following the cold and dull spring. This will create stresses within the plant as it tries to grow during rapidly fluctuating temperatures and transpiration rates. In this harsh environment plants will have to use their energy to combat these stress conditions. HortiBoost is a multifunction ‘complete’ biostimulant and nutrient complex that is designed to support plants through these challenges. It will supply vines with trace elements, seaweed extracts, humic acids and amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks for growth, meaning when they are provided directly plants can use their energy on growing rather than producing these themselves. This is particularly important for combatting abiotic stresses, such as high temperatures. HortiBoost facilitates maximum utilisation of nutrients, water, CO2 and light to maximise growth efficiency.
During periods of growth, calcium is drawn up the plant in the transpiration stream from the roots to the growing points of leaves and shoots. Calcium is vital for the structural components of plants, and this is also the case with fruit. However, fruit are not the main destination of the transpiration stream, so calcium demand cannot always be fully be met. Calcium can be mobilised to maximise the concentrations where it’s required, for example in fruit development and overall quality. The CaTTM technology contained in Plant Impact’s Ametros is designed to mobilise calcium and increase its concentration in fruit cells, optimising quality and resilience against rots such as botrytis in grapes and other types of fruit.
Rapid growth rates also increase the risk of macro and micro element deficiencies in crops. As soon as a deficiency is found on a crop walk, corrective feeding should begin. Use of HortiVitits as a foliar fertiliser can quickly turn around vines that are deficient in magnesium, iron, and manganese, which are vital in chlorophyll production. HortiVitis also contains zinc which is essential in enzyme production, and boron to support vital flowering and fruit development stages to optimise yield in vines and other fruit crops. This is also a very effective preventative and background tank mix addition when used regularly at 3-4 week intervals.
An example of manganese deficiency.
After harvest, attention turns to preparation for the coming year, and getting vines in tip-top condition before winter sets in. Growers can look to boost nitrogen content in the trunks as a nutrient store that’s primed and ready for rapid growth the following spring. HortiFol High N is an ideal foliar fertiliser for this purpose, as it contains good levels of nitrogen combined with other macro and micro elements to provide all the nutrition required to see the vines into the next growing season.
Due to the strange start of the season, growers are in for a challenging year. To ensure the weather’s impact is limited as much as possible please contact our Hortifeeds’ Sales Managers and they will tailor a nutritional programme to support your crop.