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September 28th, 2023

The cover crops in french is a “green fertiliser”


In just a handful of soil from a healthy ground, there are more microorganisms than there are humans on Earth. 90% of this life resides in the top 15 centimeters of soil.

The cover crops in french is a “green fertiliser” :

With regenerative agriculture, we adapt to the soil rather than the other way around. It’s essential to minimize soil disturbance and the use of external inputs. Instead, we sow plants between the rows of the vineyard to enrich the soil based on the vine’s needs. The choice of plant species sown depends on the type of soil and its deficiencies, which can vary from one plot to another and from year to year. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Here are some examples that we use in our plots:

Illusration : Laurie РBilden Studio 

Daikon & Mustard

Daikon radish and mustard, both from the cruciferous family, have the ability to break up compacted soil and extract nutrients that are hard for the vine to access (such as phosphorus). They reduce nematodes, harmful small worms, and prevent weeds from growing, reducing the need for human intervention.

 

Clover & Phacelia

Clover and phacelia, both from the legume family, are complementary because they do not grow at the same time. They fix nitrogen, which is essential for plant tissue development. Phacelia also attracts many beneficial insects to the vineyard.

Rye & Oats

Rye and oats, both from the grass family, are also complementary and have strong soil structuring abilities due to their extensive root networks. They play a crucial role in the formation of humus, a soil life reservoir that nourishes plants.

These three plant families produce organic matter, a source of energy for future crops, store carbon, and thereby increase soil fertility. They regulate the soil microclimate, preserve moisture, and prevent erosion.

When do we sow?

We sow after the grape harvest to take advantage of autumn rains. Everything is sown at the same time to simplify the technical process and reduce soil disturbance. Ungerminated seeds remain in reserve in the soil, which is beneficial in the long term.

In the transition to a no-till approach, this green cover will be enriched each year with complementary plant species adapted to its evolving needs until it becomes self-sustaining in several years. After years of soil work, our land is on the path to regeneration.

 

 

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