Soil Analysis & Tree Health – February 2016
Soil Analysis & Tree Health:
At Bella Viva the work never stops, even when there is not any fruit on the trees. The labor put into the off-season is an important determining factor of fruit quality. Two of the most important issues are soil and tree health. Recently our orchards have needed special care because of the damage garnered by the drought. However, our advanced soil and leaf testing contribute to higher nutritional densities in the resulting crop. This dedication makes Bella Viva Orchards a production leader in the industry. We are also proud to maintain sustainable farming practices that preserve the environment for the next generation.
Last December our Director of Operations, Victor Martino, met with Bella Viva’s specialist in plant nutrition, Tracy Miller. He uses a 15 inch probe to test the soil throughout the orchards, taking 10-15 samples that form a composite. The sample is then sent to a certified lab that tests nutrient content, pH, salts, etc. in the soil. The leaves are also tested for similar factors. A resulting analysis might show nutrients are in the soil, but that they are not finding their way into the tree. The point is to form a plan to improve the health of our orchards because we want our customers to have the most nutritious fruit and nuts possible.
Paradigm Shift in Soil Health
Bella Viva is at the forefront of a sustainable revolution that is causing a paradigm shift in agriculture. Traditional wisdom would lead us to correct deficiencies by simply adding amendments to the soil, keeping the elements in balance while contributing to improved crop health. Amendments would typically include the use of fertilizers, elements and compost to increase organic matter. The new focus looks at the soil as a living organism. In short, we create an environment conducive to micro-organisms beneficial to plant health while making it hostile for those that are detrimental, such as phytophthora and nematodes. Fostering this environment leads to a much higher nutrient density in the fruit and improved production. In addition, environmental protection is enhanced by reducing the leeching of nitrates into the underground water supply.
Bella Viva Copywriter