Thursday, 29 August 2019

Do You Mow or Hoe?

A couple of weeks ago we were visiting a winemaker near Richelieu, and Susan commented to me that it was interesting that between the vines they had mowed one alley, ploughed the next, mowed the third, etc.


A couple of days later we were at a winemaker near Cheverny and I noticed they had done the same thing. It seems a weird thing to do: we have seen vineyards where they plough between the rows using horses, and vineyards where the grass is mown, but alternating the two is new to us. There's a reason for all this mowing and hoeing: reducing the grass and flowers between rows reduces the likelihood of a micro-climate that enables fungus, and reduces competition for sunlight and water.

But why alternate? The ploughed strip allows any rain to soak immediately into the ground, the mown section stops it evaporating immediately once it's soaked in.

3 comments:

chm said...

Necessity is mother of invention!

Colin and Elizabeth said...

Important also as they cannot irrigate the vines which must be difficult in long dry spells... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irrigation_in_viticulture

Ken Broadhurst said...

Sounds like one of those typically over-engineered French things to me. But the vignerons who have vines out behind our house do the same thing. I'll have to ask one of them to explain it, to see his take on the whole process.

Post a comment