EM1 and Compost Tea Vineyard Applications

Thanks Eric

You are talking about adding EM1 to aerobic thermal compost piles. That is, compost that is turned regularly to add oxygen. We are aware that EM1 can quickly digest many divers types of composting materials, and much quicker than typical composting microbes.

I heard that you were working with the St. Clair vineyard, using EM1 and Bokashi.

I have been managing a much smaller 2 acre Pinot Noir vineyard in experimental western Washington state.
When I first stepped on site a year ago July their was a serious Botrytis cinerea infection and observable powdery mildew as well. Nothing had ever been sprayed on the vineyard to combat fungus and diseases. Pinot Noir is fussy.

We first applied Lime-sulfur.  Then we sprayed compost tea and EM1 several times, sometimes mixed together. That year we made wine out of the grapes, but they had already been affected by the Botrytis.

After dormant pruning, we sprayed the typical copper-sulfate. Copper sulfate and lime-sulfur are considered “organic”, but since they are fungicides, are certainly hard on any fungal population. We continued with compost tea [fungal dominated] and EM1 applications spring through summer right up until harvest. I must confess that we also did one application of Rubicon [son of an evil galactic emperor] and two of Rally [his younger, nicer brother with a cute name]. We did not want to loose the vineyard. Now we are talking about one gorgeous, hand weeded, immaculately pruned  and trellised vineyard.

During the growing season, we began to notice an improvement in the quality of the soil. More earthworms arrived. By the time we harvested, we did observe a few grape clusters with bits of Botrytis mold, but it was minimal. The greenish-black mold that had covered the shoots and stems the year before was gone. We considered it a real triumph, especially since this year was unusually cool and wet.
Our intent is to cut back on the non organic sprays and use more EM1 and compost teas
I must admit to being concerned about vigorous vines and over cropping, because, as you know, better wine is made out of low-vigor, lower yielding vines. By all agricultural standards the healthier the vines the more vigorous they would tend to be. In dry climates, the vigor can be controlled by deficit irrigation techniques, but here we rarely irrigate mature vines because there is plenty of rainfall.
Using that same caveat though, the healthier the vines the better tasting the fruit should be–so one would think the wine would be better as well.
Keep me posted

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3 Responses to EM1 and Compost Tea Vineyard Applications

  1. shawn says:

    Hi not sure i understand. If compost is more fungal would “turning it” not damage the fungi ? Would no tilling not be preferable when composting ?
    Thank you for your help.

    • admin says:

      Another good question Shawn, but one that I cannot answer in a definitive manner. It probably would depend on the species of fungi in the compost pile, and the timing with the life cycles of fungi. If the pile is really fluffy, and you could manage to get oxygen into it without mixing it–why not? With a fan and some scrap tubing you could pump air up from underneath.

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