Re-planting offers a valuable opportunity to create ideal soil conditions for the re-establishment of healthy productive fruit trees, while reducing the financial risks of tree establishment failures. Old orchard soils are often minerally imbalanced and low in organic matter and could contain serious disease organisms.
In addition to considerations such as variety selection, planting density and grass/weed control, growers should take advantage at this time to adopt an holistic soil health program. Improving soil structure and starting with adequate nutrition, hormonal stimulation and microbial balance at planting time is critical for reducing transplant shock and ensuring rapid tree establishment. This results in a considerable reduction in tree loss and can significantly reduce tree maturity time, with obvious financial benefits.
Soils should always be tested and nutritionally corrected before planting to ensure that growth during the critical foundation period is maximised. Achieving mineral balance will help to ensure not only adequate nutrition, but also an ideal soil structure for proliferation of beneficial soil biology. Optimising this biology is not only important for reducing the levels of pathogenic organisms, it is also critical for harnessing the numerous functions of these organisms such as nitrogen fixation, nutrient recycling, carbon stabilisation and nutrient solubilisation.
Leaders in biological farming, NTS, offer a soil testing consultancy service, Soil Therapy™, which includes a comprehensive soil analysis in addition to a full program recommendation. For new plantings we recommend the use of Root & Shoot™, a liquid product that includes nutritional support, hormonal promotants and microbial stimulants to promote rapid establishment of transplanted crops.