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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.
Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.
Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
July 28, 2020