by Michael Vietti
Sunridge Nurseries is excited to announce that it has embarked on an expansion project that will increase their overall production area by an additional 7 acres of greenhouses and shade houses. These state of the art, Agra-Tech solar light ranges will come equipped with the latest technologies in greenhouse climate and irrigation controls. By incorporating higher gutter heights, ridge roof vents and internal shade curtains, coupled with energy efficient double wall polycarbonate coverings, we expect to shorten our crop time on potted grafted vines and do it with fewer energy inputs. Other features include the addition of HAF fans and light diffusion in the polycarbonate coverings which will allows us to grow at higher crop densities without sacrificing plant quality.
The expansion project will increase our overall capacity by 2 million potted vines under a protected insect free environment. This, along with all concrete flooring and roadways throughout the entire project and our continued use of all metal benching, will help to provide for a more disease free growing area. The ability to wash down benches, floors and walkways with disinfectants both before and after vines move thru the facility is a critical step in keeping the vines free of unwanted diseases.
Another key element we’ve added to the project is the use of watering booms for irrigation. By using booms, we can more precisely direct water, fertilizers and plant protectants to our vines. This in turn will help to conserve water and prevent unwanted fertilizers and pesticides from moving offsite. One of the more evident plant quality improvements you can expect to see with our use of irrigation booms will be in the area of root mass and health. With higher quality roots, comes healthier overall plant growth, which in turn should result in quicker plant establishment in your vineyard and with fewer losses as well.