By now, most beneficial insect blends have been sown and the weather has been very good leading to excellent germination results. A lot of NZ vine growers have understood the importance of beneficial insects to regulate pest damage in their blocks and are aware what plant species to use to attract and keep those little helpers on site.
Unfortunately, there is another realistic threat that needs urgent attention. Global warming or ice age, fact is the weather is changing. At the moment the agriculture and horticulture industry will need to prepare against more frequent dry years.
What does this mean for the grapevine growers and how can Kiwi Seed assist?
One key management technique is to conserve and use water efficiently during the entire year.
Kiwi Seed has specialised in dryland pasture species – which have already proven to be very successful in NZ Vineyards. Combinations of these species can be grazed during the winter or even taken hay off in late spring. Alternatively spring mulching is a great way to control weeds, increase nutrients and moisture levels in the ground.
I strongly believe soil should never be left bare as a moisture management tool. Strong winds are taking away too much precious soil. Evaporation after cultivation is not much helping either and weeds will strive. Herbicide seals are only working till weeds become resistant.
Instead choose winter active, summer dormant grasses together with early flowering annual clovers such as Prima Gland or Crimson and moisture will be available to grapevines during the dry season. This system can be used interrow as well as under vine.
For now, we will be heading to a colourful summer. While you enjoy all those wild flowers in your block think about your water management strategy and contact Kiwi Seed to discuss how we can help you.
The Kiwi Seed team wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.