We’re coming into the colder months here in New Zealand, which means the time for winter pruning is fast approaching – but did you know that your prunings can be used to support your crop condition for the entire year ahead?
Our pruning mulchers turn your winter pruning into high quality mulch that safeguards soil moisture and nutrients, however, the first step is pruning itself.
In this blog we will cover some important pruning techniques, before we move onto the importance of mulching, and our mulching solutions.
WHEN SHOULD I START PRUNING?
A frequent recommendation is to wait until your vine leaves begin to fall before you start to prune. The reason for this piece of advice is because this is when vines start to renew their resources, and as a result, pruning at this time can give them an extra boost ahead of spring.
You should also pay close attention to the weather conditions as you prune. Dry conditions are ideal to reduce the frequency of Psa disease in your vines, but you should also sterilise your pruning tools and utilise protectant sprays, as exposed vines can be vulnerable to pathogens.
HOW CAN I IMPROVE PRUNING TO MY ADVANTAGE?
Pruning is a great opportunity to safeguard the health of your vines. Take the time to remove Psa cankers and prune your entire orchard evenly.
Pruning is a good opportunity to check over your orchard thoroughly. Have you been favouring one side over the other? Are all your vines being equally treated with care?
Pruning is also when you want to tie down your vines. Ensuring that your entire orchard is properly tied down will keep light and air circulating through the canopy. It’s also a good way to check whether or not you’re missing fruit anywhere. If so, this can be logged and addressed at your next harvest.
HOW CAN PRUNING HELP YOUNG VINES?
An important aspect of pruning is protecting and encouraging your young vines so that they flourish among your established orchard.
You can do this by cutting back more on larger vines so that they have less leader strength, either by reducing their height or making structural cuts, although you should balance your approach against the effect that pruning will have on flower numbers.
Careful planning pays off when it comes to pruning, but once you’re done, don’t make the mistake of throwing all your cuttings away. Your prunings can be turned into organic mulch and go on to protect your vines all the way through winter.
WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF MULCHING?
In a study by UCCE Placer/Nevada, mulching was shown to drastically improve soil quality, even when dealing with novel weather changes.
Mulching may be our best line of defence against climate unpredictability, as their study revealed that mulching plays an important role in preserving soil moisture, on top of its well-known ability to provide insulation against the elements.
However, timing is everything. Their research revealed that mulch should only be applied when the moisture in the soil is at its peak.
Which brings us back to the first point made in this blog, that you should wait until your vine leaves begin to fall before you start to prune. By working with your vines, rather than against, you can promote their growth.
WHY SHOULD I INVEST IN A PRUNING MULCHER?
After pruning your orchard will be naturally covered in heavy cuttings, however, rather than throw these away, our pruning mulchers can turn your prunings into a fine mulch.
Our pruning mulchers attach to your own tractor and can be easily operated by just one person. They make swift work of the otherwise tedious job of removing your prunings from your paths and leave a fine layer of mulch and cut grass in their wake.
Regardless of whether your prunings are small or substantial, our pruning mulchers can work through your orchard effortlessly.
TALK TO FARMGARD
To learn more about our pruning mulchers, contact us 0800 FARMGARD and speak to one of our experts today.