The viticulturist is the decision maker when it comes to the 'how' and 'why' of grape growing. They are responsible for creating optimum conditions for the growing and harvesting of the grapes. They monitor the soil, determine the best irrigation strategy for the vines, and decide on the disease and pest control program for the vineyard. On smaller vineyards, viticulturists also undertake a more hands on role, similar to that of a vineyard hand. Under the instruction of the viticulturist, vineyard hands prepare the ground for planting, fertilise and oxygenate the soil using a hoe or tractor and install irrigation systems and trellises for the vines.