top of page

Minville, A-K et al. "Evaluating the effects of intercrop management on weeds and soil aggregate stability during the establishment of semi-hardy grapevines in southern Quebec." Canadian Journal of Plant Science (2022)

Audrey-Kim Minville, Marie-Josée Simard, Odile Carisse, and Caroline Halde

Living mulches from resident vegetation or intercrops could be used to control weeds
and partially alleviate soil erosion during vineyard establishment in Quebec. However, their impact
on grapevine yield and fruit quality is poorly documented. Growing semi-hardy grapevines is a
challenge in southern Quebec as winter protection is necessary. Winter protection is provided either
by hilling or geotextiles and these methods determine what type of living mulch can be grown.
Annual plant species are best suited for the former method while perennial species are compatible
with the latter. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of two grass living mulches (annual
and perennial) on weed control and diversity, soil aggregate stability, vine growth and fruit quality
in comparison to cultivation and an unmanaged (weedy) control during vineyard establishment. The
cultivation treatment was the most efficient weed control method and decreased weed species
richness and diversity in comparison to intercrops. Maintaining a living mulch in the interrow,
however, helped preserve soil aggregate stability better than did cultivation. Vine yield and fruit
quality were not affected by any interrow weed management method. Consequently, the use of
living mulches is a promising alternative to cultivation in the interrow during vineyard
establishment in Quebec, Canada.

bottom of page