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Why Discing Is Bad For Your Vineyard Soil

November 2008
 
by Dr. Cliff Ohmart
 
Alternative text
 
Discing breaks up surface soil, cultivating the top few inches and keeping alleyways clean, rather than letting vegetation spring up naturally, or growing a layer of cover crops.
 
As another harvest comes to an end, growers should think about how they are going to manage their vineyard floor next year, particularly if they are going to plant a cover crop. To be honest, writing a column on vineyard floor management is an excuse for me to discuss what many growers do not seem to want to hear, that frequent tillage is bad for soil quality. Despite all the talk about how cover cropping has been widely adopted, I am surprised how many disced vineyards I see around California during the growing season.
 

 
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