1- Manure in fertilization in viticulture.
The vine is a plant with few nutritional requirements , when it comes to obtaining quality grapes. The improvement of soil fertility will be a very important priority in the cultivation of the vine.
Of the management of the soil it will depend both adequate nutrition of the vine as effective protection of plants against pests and diseases.
Both the absorption of water and nutrients as well as the health of the vineyard will improve by following the good ecological viticultural practices indicated below:
Minimal tillage reduces erosion and allows the soil to retain its structure.
Organic matter contribution:
The contribution of organic matter, in addition to restoring the fertility of the soil, improves its structure and allows a healthy soil.
Chopping and reincorporation of pruning remains:
This technique returns part of the nutrients that have been extracted during grape production and is a source of organic matter for the soil.
Use of green roofs:
The use of green roofs has many advantages, but they are not feasible in many areas of Spain due to low rainfall.
Among the advantages of plant covers we can highlight that they reduce erosion, improve the soil and make it possible for natural enemies of pests to exist.
2- Manure, Humus and Compost. We clarify concepts
Three ways to provide organic matter and to nourish our vineyard.
We are all clear that it is manure. They are the excrement of farm animals that usually live in groups and that can be of various types according to their origin – cow, sheep, goat, horse … – and also according to the state of fermentation in which it is found – fresh, mature or composted And dry-.
Once the organic matter is contributed to the soil, the decomposition process by the soil organisms begins. A part of this organic matter is transformed into humus.
We can summarize that the essence of manure is humus and at present liquid organic materials are commercialized for irrigation application that already contain humic and fulvic acids.
Vermicompost is in fashion lately , which is nothing more than the excrement of worms after devouring organic matter. But it must also be said that it works well and that it is very nutritious for the soil.
Compost is decomposing organic matter . Organic matter can be of any type, vegetables, food scraps, oils, sawdust… .any natural thing that decomposes.
This process can be carried out industrially or, more at an amateur level, in the garden composters that have appeared in recent years.
✅ Compostadora organica garden
3- What types of manure can be used in the vineyard?
To restore soil fertility, only organic matter is provided in organic production: dry manure, compost or fresh cow and sheep manure.
Without a doubt, the best organic compost for vineyards is sheep manure.
Manure, in addition to replenishing the nutrients extracted with grape production, improves the biological activity of the soil and therefore its structure and its ability to nourish the plant.
It is convenient that the manure (before being used as compost) is well mature or composted . Good composting is done by keeping the manure at a very high temperature for a few days, so that it destroys possible diseases and inactivates possible seeds of unwanted varieties.
Manure doesn’t just provide short-term nutrients, it creates long-term soil fertility.
Normally its effects are present for about five years in the soil so that humic substances of slow degradation accumulate in the soil, it improves the properties of water retention, regulates the pH, regulates the temperature of the soil and maintains its health.
4- Benefits of Humus in the soil
Among the advantages of using manure we can highlight the following:
- Increases the cation exchange capacity of the soil.
- Manure increases the buffering power of the soil, regulating the pH, reducing both its salinity and its acidity.
- Provides substances such as phenols, which contribute to the respiration of the plant, greater absorption of phosphorus and controls soil pathogens.
- Absorbs and retains minerals from the soil, preventing their loss.
- It can react with insoluble phosphorus by absorbing bases and releasing phosphoric acid.
- It solubilizes minerals in the soil which helps to increase the production of plants and favors the development of soil life .
- Manure increases water retention in the soil.
- It absorbs heat , avoiding sudden changes in soil temperature.
- It has a stimulating capacity for plant development .
Come on, they are all advantages , as regards balance, vineyard nutrition and correction of deficiencies.
Manure and compost vary both in nutrient content and degradation rate depending on where they come from.
Dry sheep manures have a very low degradation rate (their effects last longer).
Composts maintain an intermediate and stable rate in the first four years.
Fresh manures ferment at a high rate in the first year providing a large amount of nutrients, but in the following years their contribution is low.
✅ Buy bulk hummus in bags. Shipping included.
5- Amount of manure per hectare
When you buy sheep manure from a farm in bulk, the drawback we have is that we do not know the analytics or the richness of what we contribute, so in the end we have to work by intuition.
The recommended doses range from 10,000 to 40,000 Kg of fresh manure per Ha.
I prefer to use the minimum dose of 10,000Kg / Ha and add it more or less frequently depending on the evolution of the vineyard.
Considering that in the vine the contributions of manure are made every three to four years , it must be taken care that these come from quality compost with around 1.5% (dry corral manure and cow manure compost, sheep) of nitrogen and applied at doses of about 10,000 Kg per Hectare every 3-4 years.
If the nitrogen content in the manure were lower, the necessary doses to be applied would be higher.
Fresh manures are only advisable in the first application of vine planting so that they make their contributions during the first 4 years of life of our vineyard.
The application of organic matter is usually done in the middle of autumn or during winter. It is interesting and convenient to carry out a work to bury it.
6- How can manure be applied?
There are different ways of applying organic matter to the soil.
The traditional way has been the distribution on the ground between the lines of the vineyard, contributing about 10cm of manure in the central subway of the street, alternating streets.
Today manure application machinery is very popular. It consists of a hopper that has a subsoiler that opens the soil, incorporates the manure and covers it.
Lately the use of manure in “pellet” format has become very standard. The application of the pellet is very comfortable , because you can use the fertilizer machinery or fertilizers that spread it, so you do not get stained so much and you do not arrive home with the typical rodeo smell.
The pellet is manure that through an industrialized process has been compacted into small cylinders to facilitate its application by conventional fertilizers.
We also have the advantage that the richness of the content is guaranteed and that they do not carry weed seeds .
This is an alternative way, if you don’t have a nearby farm, as they can be found in any fertilizer warehouse. In addition, pellet manufacturers guarantee richness in nutrients, so that we can control much better what we are contributing to our soil.
✅ Organic matter in pellets
7- Other forms of organic nutrition are …
Another practice that contributes to the improvement of the soil is the incorporation of pruning remains.
With this practice , a large amount of nutrients extracted by the vineyard are used to form the plant material and return it to the soil.
Another strategy to improve soil fertility is the use of plant covers that we already discussed in the post on vine plant covers .
✅ Fertilizers with humic and fulvic acids for irrigation
We can summarize that humic and fulvic acids are the essence or the concentrate of manure . As it is an already concentrated product, the doses are much lower. It was possible to start working with 20L / Ha.
They are already in the chemical form in which the plant absorbs it, so the assimilation process of the plant is much faster.
It can be applied in any type of crop and at any time of the year. They will not harm us.
8- Summary and conclusions of fertilization in organic viticulture.
- Well-fermented manures and compost are best suited for viticulture.
- The amount of manure to be contributed is about 10,000 Kg per Ha.
- Manure contributions must be made every 3-4 years.
- The incorporation of pruning remains is another source of ecological fertilizer.