Grapevine root system and soil chemical and physical properties were studied in the Loire Valley, France. The vineyard was planted in 1977 with Cabernet Sauvignon grafted onto SO4 and maintained for 17 years with or without interrow sward. Three treatments were compared: complete weed control by herbicide, permanent grass (Festuca Arundinacea cv. Manade) covering over 50% of the soil surface, and permanent grass covering over 25% of the soil surface achieved by a grass interrow alternating with a herbicide-treated interrow. At the end of the experiment in 1994, observations showed that the permanent grass cover caused a considerable decrease in the number of vine roots in the interrow, mainly in the upper soil layers, but an increase close to the row. The amount of organic matter, nitrogen, exchangeable K2O, pH, and soil moisture at field capacity increased under permanent grass cover, while bulk density and the mechanical resistance of the soil decreased.
- Soil management practices
- chemical weed control
- permanent grass cover
- vine root system
- physical and chemical properties of soil
Acknowledgments: The authors thank M. Cordier for technical assistance.
- Copyright 2003 by the American Society for Enology and Viticulture