Fall is the best time to sow green manure for planting in the spring. In the vineyard this is done after the harvest.
Green manure can also be sown in the spring, but at this time it should be sown as thickly and evenly as possible to keep up with weeds.
What is the purpose of green manure in the vineyard?
In viticulture, green manure has the same advantages as in other agricultural sectors. In the vineyard, green manure, contributes to the supply of organic matter in the soil by helping to maintain an adequate balance of vine development.
What seeds to use for green manure in the vineyard?
Which plants for green manure? You can obtain excellent seed mixtures at consortiums i agrarian. Seed mixtures for green manure are already proportionally balanced and collect the most widely used species from the three families:
such as field beans, clover embodied, lupine, bean, lentil, field pea, broad bean...
such as oats, barley, rye, sorghum.
such as corza, mustard and rapeseed.
How to practice green manure in the vineyard
After the harvest, the soil is prepared for planting green manure mixtures. It is recommended to practice green manure in alternating rows so as to ensure the passage of agricultural vehicles. Before planting the green manure mixture, you must:
Go through with a mulcher to remove the weeds already present.
Improve the oxygenation and permeability of the soil by passing with a delta ploughshare tiller at least 40 cm deep (this passage is not mandatory for the purpose of green manure but strongly recommended).
Prepare the seedbed by working the soil to a depth of 20 cm with a rigid-tooth or spring harrow.
Sowing green manure in the vineyard
After preparing the soil, proceed to sow the mixture. If the vineyard is of modest size, sow by hand by scattering.
To promote germination, sow seeds before a rain or otherwise when the soil is moist.
Seeds can be lightly buried with shallow tillage, using a harrow or manually with a rake.
If you have followed deep tillage, to ensure contact between the seed and the soil and level out the rows, you can proceed with rolling.
Burying the plants, when and how to proceed
In order to incorporate the greatest amount of micronutrients and organic matter into the soil, the best time to bury green manure in the vineyard is when the plants are in pre-bloom, when the first closed flowers are seen sprouting.
The best time to bury green manure plants falls between the months of April and May. At this time, you must first mow or mulch the epigeal plant mass (that which comes out of the ground).
Before incorporating the plant mass into the soil, wait a couple of days after mowing. This allows the green manure grasses to dehydrate and lowers the risk of going through fermentation processes that do not help optimal biomass decomposition.
How deep should green manure be buried in the vineyard?
With the green manure technique, plants should not be buried too deep. You will simply bury the plant residues by incorporating them into the top 10 to 15 cm of soil.
In general, but especially in compacted soils, when green manure is to be buried deeper, the decomposition that leads to the formation of humus (valuable for the soil), is slowed down due to the lack of oxygen.
To bury chopped or mowed epigeal plant mass, you can use a disc harrow, spade or rotary hoe.