Conduct soil biology tests to make sure starting points are bench‑marked
- Begin to suppress any diseases or pests that were present on leaf or plant surfaces by applying biology to the residues in the field. THIS IS CRITICAL TO GET STARTED FIRST. It is imperative to reduce the spore numbers of various diseases - mildew, etc. during the dormant period to reduce disease and pest levels.
- 70% of most disease problems are typically from residue materials that lack adequate beneficial organisms and which therefore do not decompose properly.
- No guarantees that programs will be successful if initial stages are not begun in the autumn, as the disease and pest problems are best dealt with autumn through the winter
- Soil structure needs to be initially established during the winter, or "fallow" period of the year.
Soil application in autumn applied under the tree or vine row to decompose understory mulch and residue layer, and start protection against pathogens, root pests, and foliar diseases.
Assess soil chemistry and add Ca into the compost if soil lacks balanced Ca:Mg, add any missing nutrients, but assess TOTAL EXTRACTABLE pools, and determine whether the soil in fact contains plenty of nutrients, and what has been really lacking is just the biology. Or have most soluble nutrients been lost because there was no biology to retain them?
Determine any short‑term nutrient lack and add soluble forms of nutrients for immediate plant uptake,. Consider biological nutrient cycling as well as a legume or N‑fixing trees.
Consider planting a cover crop, either as a broad acre cover, or as a short, permanent cover crop. Consider all the necessary requirements before choosing the right plant.
One or the other of the following applications:
- 150 to 200 L/HA, compost tea
- 3-7 tons//ha compost
Make sure compost meets minimum biological requirements, and that compost tea also meets minimum biological requirements.
Residues should decompose completely during winter even if under snow. If moisture limits decomposition, protect soil surface and compost/compost tea applications by mulching. If residues are not completely decomposed in the spring, ADD BIOLOGY AGAIN in the spring
Dip roots in compost tea, with mycorrhizal fungal spores. ALL tree species known require mycorrhizal colonization of some kind or another
• Apply to surface or sub‑soil and inject tea with spores into the soil at this level.
• Cut back any grass or other bacterial‑dominated plant species that is growing into tree zone.
• Cover with compost, followed by mulch to protect surface
• Plant perennial cover crop such as lavender, thyme, oregano, strawberry, wintergreen, basil, etc, depending on moisture during winter or dormant seasons
Foliar applications for foliar problems
* 50 L/HA, compost tea for each, or 2 meter, height of the canopy, monthly, weekly during most disease prone times
* Specific organisms may be added for particular problems
•Control of root grub, soft‑bodied insects: Beauveria, Heterorhabditus
•Control of fungal‑diseases: High concentration of Trichoderma (some specificity for climate and fungal disease), milky spore, or Gliocladium, followed by high fungal compost or compost tea to replace and resuscitate beneficial fungi
•Control of root weevil: Steinernema specific to weevil
•Pesticide residues: Pseudomonads
•Insect pests: Specific species of Bacillus
This program has been developed for the use of Certified Soil Foodweb Advisors and their clients in conjunction with proven programs of crop management by the Soil Foodweb Institute. It contains some departures from normal practice, which your Soil Foodweb Advisor would be happy to discuss.The Principal of AgriSense is a Certified Soil Foodweb Advisor Your guarantee of the highest quality and most current practical advice in the field of applied soil ecology.
Marc Percival:Mobile 0409 185680 Fax/Office (02) 6655 1394