Similar to many other growers, our associate and Plant Aid Ambassador battled the many threats against his grape vines in Danville, California for years. As a naturalist, not only did threats such as powdery mildew cause him trouble, but so did the toxic solutions available to him to combat these threats. In an effort to produce a healthy crop using non-toxic solutions, the Plant Aid Ambassador decided that he would take an alternative approach focused on keeping plants clean, healthy and in pristine condition.
From April 2018 – June 2018, the growers experienced no issues. However, as a result of low hanging fog and colder temperatures, in June 2018, spotted areas of powdery mildew were discovered on most rows except for Rows 7-8 (where combination was sprayed). To immediately wipe out powdery mildew, grower sprayed the known toxic fungicide Viticure twice seven days apart. By July 2018, the powdery mildew was eliminated, temperatures rose, and the grower resumed his original spraying patterns through harvest in October 2018.
While vines lay dormant from November 2017 – March 2018, the grower sprayed his vines with Plant Aid's Plant Cultivator & Cleanser once a month. As buds began to break in April 2018, the grower would slightly adjust his use of Plant Cultivator & Cleanser and begin a larger experiment to validate the solution. With 14 rows of vines, the grower performed the following:
Rows 1-6: Sprayed vines once a week with Plant Cultivator & Cleanser only
Rows 9-14: Sprayed vines once a week with ARMORY: Beneficial Bacillus Blend only
Rows 7-8: Alternated spraying vines weekly with Plant Cultivator & Cleanser and Armory
At harvest, the grower reported that the combination of Plant Cultivator & Cleanser and Armory produced the best results. These vines had the highest brix count (above 25), a Ph level of 3.5, no black spotting and full grape clusters. Overall, vines were clean and healthy! In addition to spraying Plant Cultivator & Cleanser on his vines and grapes, the grower also used Plant Aid’s Horticleaner as a substitute for S02, which burns skin and causes headache, to clean drip lines, test tubes, tool, carboys, bottles and barrels.