We asked our Facebook friends “Do you know why we mow the weeds in our vineyard rows instead of having cleared the ground?
Here's our answer:
We keep row cover due to prevent wind erosion as well as habitat for beneficial insects and in the hopes cutworm stay in the weeds instead of crawling up the plants to eat grape buds in the spring. With no center row irrigation, we allow the natural weeds that survive to be the cover crop. Part of our LIVE sustainable certification we limit the amount of raw materials (inputs such as pesticides, fertilizer, water, chemicals, fuel, etc.) used in vineyard and winery production. We strive to develop proactive and preventative, sustainable agricultural practices. These include the use of integrated pest management, beneficial cover crops, and manual weed control.