'Start-Grow-Finish' concept from Stoller

Stoller Australia conducted a timely series of seminars on plant nutrition and plant physiology.
Below is what Rob Jarek from Stoller Enterprises USA had to say about growing a balanced plant with a healthy root system.

Keep roots actively growing
Rob explained how a healthy root system enables the plant to deal with the ever-changing environment and to respond to associated stresses.
There are many strategies to keep roots actively growing but for optimum root health, there must be an adequate supply of calcium.
Calcium a key nutrient
Calcium is not only a key nutrient, it also ensures that there is proper functioning and messaging in the plant.
Rob explained that calcium is critical in all new meristematic tissue such as at the root tips and reproductive sites of plants.
Plants are regulated by hormones, most of which are made in the roots. This means the roots behave like the brains of the plant, sending messages around the plant to drive different growth and reproductive processes.
The Start–Grow–Finish concept
Rob works with a concept that he calls Start–Grow–Finish. This refers to a strategy that we should adopt at the various stages of growth.
The Start component is about ensuring that we set the crop up with adequate nutrition and active roots, we want the crop to have a strong start.
In the case of an orchard, we need an even budburst and we want all the trees to have the resources (including food) for healthy growth.
Sometimes this will involve inputs early in the season to ensure proper root and top growth. It can also require a strong post-harvest input in the season before.
The Grow stage involves ensuring maximum number of viable fruits and minimising fruit drop so we have greatest potential for production. Also ensuring sufficient leaf area to supply the fruit when needed.
The Finish stage is about sizing the fruit and delivering the food from source to sink enabling maximum economic yield. It also includes restoring the food supply in post harvest applications ready for the Start stage of the next season.
Optimising production
To optimise the production of our orchard, we need everything in place:
•We want healthy, actively growing roots (the 'brains' of the plant)
•We need to address the Start–Grow–Finish process and ensure a healthy start with adequate nutrition and a balanced tree
•We need the growing stage to run smoothly with good fruit numbers and enough leaves to provide the food, and
•We need a good finish with the sugars and carbohydrates that we have built finding their way to the fruit.
Where Stoller fits in
Stoller supplies products such as RootFeed and Action 10 that can enhance root growth.
A complete range of chelated and specialty nutrients can supply needed elements for each growth stage.
Other specialty treatments such as Bio-Forge can minimise the impact of stress, helping the plant deal with the harsh environment.
Finally, products like Sugar Mover and Nitrate Balancer can help move the food from the leaves to the fruit at the critical time.
Stoller also offers a post harvest (hibernation) program to put the trees to sleep prepared for the following season.
Call stoller for programs and information to achieve the best Start–Grow–Finish season.

See this article in Tree Fruit September 2018

Subscribe to Tree Fruit magazine

Subscribe to receive Tree Fruit every month

Please enable the javascript to submit this form