Weed Control

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

weed control, a range of viticultural practices to avoid weeds competing with vines—particularly young vines—for water and nutrients. The practices vary from region to region and with vine age, with the common options being cultivation (ploughing) or herbicides.

Mechanical control of weeds involves cultivating down the row alley using discs or tines. Cultivation directly under the row is more difficult, as the weeding device needs to avoid the trunks. A number of appropriate cultivators have been developed, with the swing back action achieved manually in early models but now controlled automatically by touch sensing the trunk. Even so, such cultivation disturbs the ground under the vine row where the majority of roots are, and many machines can cause some vine damage. Hand hoeing of weeds is still found in some vineyards, although often this is restricted to the control of particularly difficult weeds in young vineyards. The alternative is to use herbicides, and spraying an undervine strip is common.