Similar to tree nurseries, intensively used areas in grapevine nurseries may have damaged soil and plants. Cultures with long growing cycle have a considerable risk of loss on depleted and sick soil.
After yielding extraordinarily positive results for soil steaming in vegetable gardening last year, the Service Center for Rural Areas (DLR) Rheinlandpfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate) expects similar good effects for hotsteam in vine plants growing.
On the 14th of April 2011 a special steaming method came to use. The challenge was to reach temperatures of over 90°C in up to 40 cm depth within a short period of time. A special steaming hood was used which was equipped with twelve 40 cm long steaming spikes per sqm. This method allows the induction of 60 to 80 kg steam per hour per m³ soil which reduces steaming time down to 15 minutes.
On the treated area as well as on the control area plant growth will be monitored in a long term study. Results are expected within the next 2-3 years.