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Floor Management Strategies for Virginia Vineyards

We describe the various floor management strategies commonly used in Mid-Atlantic vineyards and weigh the pros and cons of such systems. Particular attention is focused on the role of perennial cover crops used both in row middles (interrows) and in vine rows (under-trellis or intrarows) for mitigating soil erosion, but also for exerting intentional competition with vines for water and nutrients in situations where a reduction in vine capacity is sought. Cover crop species selection, establishment practices, perennial management, as well as potential hazards associated with perennial cover crops are discussed. Physical, chemical and biological weed control options are also described. We conclude with a “Frequently asked questions” section based on industry questions about cover crop use.

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