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Green manure in the vineyard

Green manure in the vineyard

Green manure in the vineyard: from sowing to burying with the practice of green manuring in viticulture. Seeds to use and useful tips.

When is green manure sown in the vineyard?

Autumn is the best time for sowing green manure to be planted in spring. In the vineyard we proceed after the harvest.

Even in spring it is possible to sow green manure but in this period it is necessary to sow as densely and homogeneously as possible to cope with weeds.

What is the use of green manure in the vineyard?

In viticulture, green manure has the same advantages as other agricultural sectors. In the vineyard, green manure contributes to the contribution of organic matter to the soil, favoring the maintenance of an adequate balance of vine development.

Which seeds to use for green manure in the vineyard?

Which plants for green manure? You can get excellent seed mixes from agricultural consortia. Seed mixes for green manure are already proportionally balanced and collect the most used species of the three families:

  • legumes
    such as field bean, incarnate clover, lupine, bean, lentil, fodder pea, broad bean ...
  • Grasses
    such as oats, barley, rye, sorghum.
  • Cruciferous
    like corza, mustard and rape.

How to practice green manure in the vineyard

After the harvest, the soil is prepared for the sowing of green manure mixtures. It is advisable to practice green manure in alternating rows so as to ensure the passage of agricultural vehicles. Before sowing green manure, you must:

  • go with a mulcher to eliminate the weeds already present.
  • Improve oxygenation and soil permeability by using a subsoiler with delta ploughshare for at least 40 cm depth (this step is not mandatory for the purpose of green manuring but strongly recommended).
  • Prepare the seedbed by working the soil to a depth of 20 cm with a rigid or spring tine harrow.

Sow green manure in the vineyard

After preparing the soil, proceed to sow the mixture. If the vineyard is of modest size, sow manually by distributing.

To encourage germination, sow before a rain or when the soil is damp.

The seeds can be lightly buried with a superficial tillage of the soil, using a harrow or manually with a rake.

If you have followed a deep tillage of the soil, to ensure contact between the seed and the soil and flatten the rows, you can proceed with a rolling.

Burying the plants, when and how to proceed

To incorporate the greatest amount of micronutrients and organic matter into the soil, the best time forburying of green manure in the vineyardit occurs when the plants are in pre-flowering, when the first closed flowers appear.

The best time to bury green manure plants falls between the months of April and May. In this period, you must first mow or shred the epigeal plant mass (the one that comes out of the ground).

Before incorporating the vegetable mass into the soil, wait a couple of days from mowing. In this way the green manure herbs dehydrate and lower the risk of undergoing fermentation processes that do not help the optimal decomposition of the biomass.

At what depth should green manure be buried in the vineyard?

With the green manure technique, the plants should not be buried at excessive depths. Just bury the plant residues by incorporating them into the first 10 - 15 cm of soil.

In general, but especially in compact soils, when the green manure is buried at greater depths, the decomposition that leads to the formation of humus (precious for the soil) is slowed down due to the lack of oxygen.

To bury the shredded or mowed epigeal plant mass, you can use the disc harrow, the spading machine or the rotary hoe.

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