Post Harvest Care of Grapevines: Irrigation, Nutrition and Salinity

Thursday, May 5, 2016

In most Australian grape growing regions, temperatures are sufficiently warm for vines to retain a functional canopy for up to four months after harvest. Providing the leaves remain in reasonable condition and the supply of water and nutrients is adequate, continued photosynthesis and root uptake during this period allows vines to store carbohydrate and nutrient reserves for use in the next season. The normal management approach for this period has therefore been to ensure that the water and nutrient supply to the vines remains adequate so that carbohydrate storage and nutrient uptake is maximised. With many regions now facing reduced irrigation allowances, lower rainfall, and declines in water quality, maintaining favourable conditions for the duration of post-harvest period is not always possible. What is the best way to manage irrigation and fertiliser applications after harvest with limited water supply, and what measures can be taken to reduce the impact of salinity on vine productivity?