Short days, time to work on sleeping vines and olive trees
With the change in the hour, it seems the season has suddenly switched to cooler days, and much cooler evenings and the changing season means we are starting to receive regular rain, which although is good for all the plants, grasses and trees means that it can be difficult, and sometimes impossible to work on the ground doing vineyard work as the damage to the soil would be greater due to the boggy conditions.
Ultimately working on the soil when it is waterlogged leaves scars that take forever to cover with grasses or the ground cover we sow, normally fava beans which as a cover crop in the vineyard rows give nitrogen back, which the vines need.
Heavy Rain, time to fertilise
Just prior to the heavy rains starting I managed to work in the vines, trying to uncompact the soil that over a long year was compacted under the weight of vehicles and tractors, now the soil is ripped to a depth of 30cm allowing the fertiliser we are about to apply, and the water to permeate lower, and not just run off in heavy rainstorms.
So whats next, well we have many olive trees that need a really heavy pruning, these I will start on now, and then move forward towards a first prune and clean up on the vines, hopefully completely this before Christmas.
It however can be detrimental to prune active and producing trees to early, as the tree will sense that it needs to produce more leaves, and therefore not try to produce as many flowers, ultimately that will transform into olives. We therefore try to prune the productive trees later, normally around march, after the trees have added extra foliage for the year.