Dry soil in summer for Marlborough vineyards

Compost Mulch Treats Sodic Soils in Vineyards

Marlborough vineyards are overcoming sodic soil conditions by the application of compost as mulch.  In this article, Wholesale Landscapes looks at the problem and investigates methods of treatment.

 

Sodic soils are characterised by high levels of exchangeable sodium, which impedes water infiltration and water availability, adversely affecting plant growth. Sodic soils are innately unstable, exhibiting poor physical and chemical properties. Sodicity degrades soil properties by weakening the bond between soil particles, destroying aggregation and leading to dense, cloddy and structureless soils.

 

Soil sodicity can lead to a reduced flow of water through soil, which can limit leaching and can cause salt to accumulate over time, developing saline subsoils. It can lead to dispersion in the soil surface, causing crusting and sealing, which then impedes water infiltration. Sodicity causes dispersion in the subsoil, accelerating erosion, which can cause the appearance of gullies and tunnels. These soils are often waterlogged in winter causing the nitrogen to leach out and yet are dry and baked hard in the summer months.

 

Compost is a long-term solution for sodic soils, increasing the organic matter in the soil and improving soil structure. This, in turn, improves root health and thereby reduces the incidence of root disease. 

 

The application of compost insulates the soil and buffers soil temperature, preventing the surface from crusting in summer and protecting the roots from getting burnt. Compost can provide relief from droughts and affects drainage positively by cushioning water flow and stopping the soil from drying out. Some soils may benefit from mechanical ripping to penetrate just below the compacted soil layer before composting.

 

As well as its mulching effect, compost slowly releases its natural fertilisers into the soil to be accessed by the root system. Additional, specific fertilisers can be added at the time of compost spreading to maximise efficiency in vineyard management.

 

In terms of the timing of compost application, after harvest or once the soil has dried off sufficiently after winter, is suggested. It is ideal to have the compost down at bud burst and then to apply nitrogen on top and water it in so the vines get the spring flush.  Even an autumn application can work if you want to make the most of a dry spell.

 

This timing is important for higher yeast assimilable nitrogen, (YAN), content at grape harvest. Low YAN is associated with low organic content in soil and overall dry growing conditions. Nitrogen uptake occurs in the late spring, after flowering. Increased organic content, from compost mulch, available at this time can have a positive effect on YAN, improving fermentation.

 

Overall, the application of compost is beneficial for the vigour and health of vine and root, and ultimately, grape production. Compost works in well with irrigation and fertiliser programmes to produce the maximum benefit and efficiencies for vine growth and health and its application plays a fundamental role in the whole picture of vineyard management.

 

Wholesale Landscapes has a wide range of composts available to incorporate into your vineyard management scheme. Please visit our website at http://www.wholesalelandscapes.co.nz/ for more information.

 

Wholesale Landscapes would like to thankJohn Turner of John Turner Consultancy Ltd for providing technical assistance and information.

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Our Retailers

We’re working on providing you with all the information you need in just a couple of clicks.  Below is a list of our major retailers. Please contact them for stock and supply.

 

PLEASE NOTE: Not all of our products are supplied to all retailers. We can only guarantee product quality of products we manufacture.

Nelson
  • Wholesale Landscapes – Stoke Lifestyles Yard

  • Stoke Garden & Landscapes

Richmond
  • Bay Landscape & Garden Centre

  • Goldpine Richmond

Mapua
  • Mapua Landscapes

Motueka
  • Stonescape Landscape Supplies (Concrete & Metals)

North Canterbury
  • Woodend Landscape Supplies

Christchurch
  • Garden Box – Middleton

  • Urban Paving – Harewood

  • Pearsons Landscape Supplies – Bromley

  • Styx Mill Landscape & Nursery  – Styx               

  • Mitre 10 Ferrymead 

South Canterbury
  • Fulton Hogan Timaru

  • Ashburton Construction Ltd (ACL)

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Our Truck Volumes

3T Truck

Full truckload volumes
  • 6m3 Bark
  • 1.5m3 Stone
  • 3m3 Soil
  • 3m3 Supersoil
  • 4m3 Compost
  • 3m3 Shell

7.5T Truck

Full truckload volumes
  • 15m3 Bark
  • 4m3 Stone
  • 8m3 Soil
  • 8m3 Supersoil
  • 10m3 Compost
  • 8m3 Shell

11T Truck

Full truckload volumes
  • 25m3 Bark
  • 7m3 Stone
  • 10m3 Soil
  • 11m3 Supersoil
  • 15m3 Compost
  • 11m3 Shell

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*we will quote to the nearest cubic meter

Recommended depths

Typically you need a finishing layer of screened soil of 100mm when working with an uneven surface. 100mm of soil will allow to even out any hollows and give enough depth to create a flat surface

A general rule for compost is to allow for the depth of the current root structure of your plants with an additional 30-50% to mix in with the base. If you’re planting into holes or filling up a vege garden  you will need to accommodate for this prior to filling up

We recommend 100mm (10cm) deep for new bark gardens and planting into bare areas. For existing gardens with some cover, we recommend 75mm-100mm (7.5cm-10cm)

Note: Barked areas for playground impact protection need to meet NZS5828:2015 standards and is calculated on the fall areas and the height of the playground. Please contact us to discuss your barked playground areas

For paths and driveways which are often exposed to car and foot traffic, we recommend 100mm-125mm (10cm-12.5cm) on newly prepared areas due to settling of product.

This excludes preparation, compaction or drainage gravel underneath. For existing areas 75mm thickness is recommended for areas needing a small top-up. 

Organise Your Pick-Up

We welcome pick-up of product by the public for volumes 1m3 and over. If your trailer is unable to hold the weight of our minimum pick up volume, please book a delivery. Please check your estimated trailer weight rating below.

single-axle-trailer-landscape-supplies-bulk
Standard trailer
(750kg limit)
  • Bark / Mulches
  • Shell
  • Compost
  • Soil
  • Stones / Aggregates
tandem-trailer-landscape-supplies-bulk
Tandem trailer
(1,500kg limit)
  • Bark / Mulches
  • Shell
  • Compost
  • Soil
  • Stones / Aggregates
tip-truck-landscape-supplies-bulk
Tip truck
(2,000kg limit)
  • Bark / Mulches
  • Shell
  • Compost
  • Soil
  • Stones / Aggregates

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Our Retailers

This product isn’t distributed directly by Wholesale Landscapes. We can only guarantee stock at our Lifestyles Yard located at 55, Saxton Road, Stoke, Nelson. 

If this doesn’t suit you or you require a smaller volume under 1.5m3, please see the list of retailers for the same or similar alternative products.

Nelson
  • Wholesale Landscapes – Stoke Lifestyles Yard

  • Stoke Garden & Landscapes

Richmond
  • Bay Landscape & Garden Centre

  • Goldpine Richmond

Mapua
  • Mapua Landscapes

Motueka
  • Stonescape Landscape Supplies (Concrete & Metals)

North Canterbury
  • Woodend Landscape Supplies

Christchurch
  • Garden Box – Middleton

  • Urban Paving – Harewood

  • Pearsons Landscape Supplies – Bromley

  • Styx Mill Landscape & Nursery  – Styx               

  • Mitre 10 Ferrymead 

South Canterbury
  • Fulton Hogan Timaru

  • Ashburton Construction Ltd (ACL)

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