Thursday, 1 July 2010

Boys and Their Toys

I have just spent a solid 5 days on the tractor testing out the new vineyard equipment. I spent many hours mulling over what machines to buy to do the best job on our vineyard. I had already decided that I was going to inter-vine cultivate instead of using weed killer. This can be very dangerous with young vines as the wrong set-up can murder a lot of vines. This is the reason why I used thick wooden stakes instead of metal or bamboo, as these others would simply fall over and kill the vine.

My inter-vine cultivator of choice is the German brand Clemens, which I tested in Bordeaux last year and loved. I said I’d accept being spanked by their football team just as long as their machine worked, which they duly did……… but thankfully the cultivator worked a treat.

With all this sunshine the weeds really had taken control and the vines needed some breathing space. I have decided to leave a 1m strip of green cover between the rows to prevent erosion and help soil structure. So after using the cultivator and the mower, the vineyard is looking pretty smart these days! This should help them continue to grow up the post and make the most of what little water there seems to be at the moment. Overall I couldn’t be happier with the way things have gone so far (touching lots of wood!)


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