The message is the same as for the other farming systems. Take care of your soil! The applications in Orchards are centered on improving your biggest asset....your soil. So the aim is to get the biological activity of your soil working efficiently. That means effective organic matter recycling, to build humus......the food for your soil and trees. By developing a productive understorey through the alleys between the trees and mulching the forage and prunings, this organic matter food source in conjunction with EM Soil & Crop, can return the microbial life to your soil. This will lead to better water use, efficient nutrient uptake, and healthy soils leading to healthy trees. EM Soil & Crop can be applied through the irrigation system, or sprayed onto the soil, undestory and tree foliage.
During disease pressure periods EM Soil & Crop is targeted as a foliar application to crops, this has two main functions, firstly it creates better growing conditions and this leads to a stronger healthier plant. Secondly it provides competitive exclusion, which means that it out-competes pathogens for space, by inoculating the leaf surfaces with beneficial microbes.
Therefore the target is primarily soils, and secondary as foliar. EM Soil & Crop can be applied directly with a sprayer or injected through an irrigator.
Key applications for Orchards
- On established trees, apply 20 litres EM Soil & Crop (activated) per ha with as much water as possible, target key periods such as after harvest, bud movement, bunch development.
- Crops can be treated frequently during the season with an accumulative effect.
- Combine with fertilizer applications to increase efficacy of applications at 10-20 litres EM Soil & Crop (activated)/ha.
- Fermented plant extract (FPE) similar to a fresh herb tea, can be made and is used during periods of high disease pressure (apply at 1% with water to give thorough coverage).
- EM5 is another preparation made using EM, vinegar and alcohol, and is useful as an insect repellent (apply at 1% with water to give thorough coverage). Target key pest stages, using a preventative approach, and maintain coverage over the vulnerable periods.
- Bokashi applied to young trees or established trees, can really boost the soil conditions to provide a healthy nutrient rich environment. Bokashi can be made by adding EM Soil & Crop (activated) to the compost process, then compacting and covering tightly to exclude air. This process is the same as making silage. In 4-8 weeks you will have a fermented compost. This is applied around the outer drip zone of the trees (read publication on Viticulture and EM here)
Low Cost EM Use
For large scale use we recommend using our EM Soil and Crop product. This is our expanded ready to use product and is the most cost effective way to use EM. It can cost as low as $2 per litre depending on volume purchased (please contact us for volumes in excess of 200 litres). We recommend using 15-20L per hectare when using EM by itself or 5-10L per hectare when used in conjunction with other nutrients.
For more information please contact the EMNZ team or to purchase EM visit the online shop.
Want to buy Bokashi compost? Go to www.Bokashi.co.nz