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5 steps for healthy vines during dormancy

female picking grapes

The busy vintage period is in full swing in most grape growing regions, and there are a few important things to consider before vines move into dormancy.

In particular, it’s important to have a focus on and to maintain the health of vines during dormancy. To do this, you should consider the length of the recent growing season, the recent yield of the vines and their general appearance to aid any management decisions.

To help, we’ve put together five easy steps.

1. For those looking to maintain growth on young vines leading into dormancy, or those trying to maximise carbohydrate storage in mature vines, carefully consider your post-harvest nutrition management plan. Stored carbohydrate reserves can vary substantially during a season, but also from one season to the next. This will then impact on the performance of vines the following spring.

2. Irrigation management during post-harvest should also be carefully considered. Generally, irrigation strategies need to be similar to strategies used from veraison to harvest. Your irrigation management practices should also generally keep enough moisture in the soil profile to allow the vine to store adequate carbohydrate levels for the coming season, but not too much as to stimulate new vegetative growth.

3. Pests and disease can continue to cause problems after harvest by reducing the number and performance of functioning leaves. An eye should be kept out for any potential pest or disease outbreaks with appropriate measures taken if necessary.

4. Pay close attention to vines during and after harvest to identify where diseases or insects have been a problem. This can play a crucial role in providing historical information when planning for next season.

5. Lastly, always consult either your viticulturalist when making decisions on post-harvest nutrition applications; always remember to seek professional advice for your specific situation.