The care of the soil is important
The purpose of soil management is to control weeds and grass surface, to improve the well-being and biological properties of the soil and to favourably promote the balance and quality of the vine itself.
Vineyard soil management – Grassing, under-row
In organic and biodynamic vineyards that use sustainable production methods and philosophies that pay attention to human health, the best soil management systems alternative to chemical weeding are the grassing of the inter-row and mechanical processing along the row.
How does the inter-row grassing take place?
Benefits and advantages
of the grassing
of the grassing
The advantages to maintaining the surface of the ground covered by an herbaceous crop (the grassing) are numerous.
Among the most important to remember are those of maintaining or restoring the content of organic substance in the soil, limiting erosion, improving the structure of the soil and its bearing capacity (resistance to compaction due to the passage of the machineries), and not least the increase in the biodiversity of the upper ground (beneficial insects) and of the subsoil (fungi, bacteria, arthropods, annelids).
The denser the grassing is and the less unwanted species grow.
In addition, in the case of green manure crop or large cutting mass, the greater the amount of mowing and the greater the mulching effect along the row.
Green mulching has two effects: due to the shading of the soil, it reduces the growth capacity of the underlying lawn and it preserves the soil moisture.
So the longer the mulching lasts, the less the grass will grow, reducing management costs.
To increase the duration of the mulching the cut must be generous and the grass must not be chopped but cut. For this purpose, mixtures of grasses and leguminous plants allow to obtain a mixture of mowing with slow mineralization (it lasts longer) and mowing grass with rotating knives allow the best cut.
How does the mechanical management along the row take place?
Limit the damage to the plant
In the organic vineyard the management of the row can only be mechanical, with mowing of the grass or working the land.
For the evaluation of a machinery, first of all, it is necessary to avoid this damage.
The damage can manifest itself directly to the plant due to inefficient probes or due to old and twisted plants, or with the severing of lateral and superficial roots caused by the mechanical organs that deepen too much.
The damage could be indirect: for example when the ground is worked finely (inter-row cutter) and exposed to the risk of erosion, or when the tool works parallel to the row by tucking the plants and leaving an open furrow dangerous for the subsequent transit of the tractor or due to erosion due to water channelling (especially rittochino).
While in the rittochino setup all the tools are able to work, even with the above mentioned limits, it gets complicated in the vineyards in the cross, where the machineries must provide the possibility of adjusting the lateral inclination that compensates for the difference in height between the rows.
In any case the main limit is the operational capacity, that is how much surface is worked in an hour, which depends on the speed of the machinery’s progress.
Choice of the equipment
In the choice of machineries for soil processing in the vineyard, the type of vineyard must be evaluated and in particular the type of soil and the cross slope, in fact our machineries are custom designed for the management of the typical steps of the Langhe, Roero and Monferrato.
After pruning from April to June, the grass is cut both in the under-row and in the inter-row.
From July to October the working of the soil in the sub-set is planned.
Along the row