The key to healthy grapes and good wine is all about the little organisms that live in the soil.
Orchardists attended an information session conducted by Orange Region Vignerons’ Association (ORVA) with leading scientists in the field of plant pathology.
The session was designed to educate orchardists how to best care for soil microbes integral to plant health.
ORVA viticulture committee representative Bob Colton said there was an increasing interest in soil biology in the region.
“It is all about learning what soil microbes are, how to use them and how to best manage them to grow better vines,” he said.
NSW department of primary industries plant pathologist Dr Melanie Weckert was a guest speaker at the event who had tips on how to best care for the organisms.
“Microbes are absolutely essential for plant life they provide essential nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous,” she said.
“They transfer nutrients into a form able to be used by the grape vine.”
Dr Weckert said microbes protect the plants from diseases and boost plants’ immune systems.
“They induce the grapevine into defending itself from disease.”
Dr Weckert said lots of compost and mulch would benefit microbes.
“Planting a sward will help microbes thrive which means just having grass that grows over the entire vineyard,” she said.
“The roots provide food for microbes.”