Orchard Establishment

Mulches and soil conditioners cool the soil under newly established almond trees

A field trial to look at the use of compost to assist in the establishment of newly planted almond trees has commenced on the Northern Adelaide Plains. Composts supplied by Jeffries, Peats Soil and Van Schaik's Biogro have been surface-applied as soil conditioners and mulches.

On a day when air temperatures reached 32.8C, measures of soil temperature showed that all three composts were effective in cooling the upper soil beneath young trees. While the temperature at 5cm depth in bare soil reached 28.4C, temperatures were as low as 23.0C beneath the deepest mulch. Measures were made in moist soil which had been irrigated within the last six hours.

For more information, contact Katie Webster at Compost for Soils - ecorsrch@bigpond.net.au