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ditching the planting site andmixing in sharp sand with the fine soil. Be extremely careful with an auger.


If you drill in wet clay or silt, youmay polish the boundaries of the hole and constrain root growth inside an impenetrable plant pot. Grapes have a spurt of root growth


in spring and again in fall. Prior to bloomthey require water at essentially the drained upper limit of soil then gradually less water until veraison. In late summer, when roots have


progressivelymore difficulty to extract water, the root tips begin to release the plant hormone ABA. This stimulates the production of phenolic compounds, hardening of the vine, fruitmaturation, and suppresses cane elongation. Encourage the roots to seek water but don’t put theminto distress. A good soil profile facilitates this. If there is a water barrier or ground


water source two or threemetres beneath the surface, this is the best of all possible worlds, but itmight not be possible in sand or gravel. If youmust do amajor recontour,


consider the composition of subsoil as well as topsoil. If your site surface is OK, rip it and leave the profile alone. One of themajor problems that


must be adjusted prior to planting is soil pH.If pH adjustment is required, it will take several tons of either powdered limestone or sulphur per acre. After all other operations are completed, the pH adjustment should be tilled into the soil prior to planting, and preferably prior to posting and irrigation installation. Elevation can be important if it is


extreme and results in a shorter growing season, but can be an advantage if it provides good air drainage and good slope and orientation. The important thing to remember


about your terroir is that a good terroir can facilitatemaintaining balanced growth in the vineyard in spite of changes in rainfall or temperature fromyear to year. A good terroir has an exposure that


collectsmore energy than is required on a sunny day but collects enough energy for full growth on an overcast day. The temperature should be moderated by proximity to water. Look around you. A good terroir is beautiful. —Gary Strachan is listed on LinkedIn.


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British Columbia FRUIT GROWER • Fall 2013 27


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