Seeding

November 3, 2011

 

 

As you may recall, we spent some time over the last few days discing our rows in preparation for seeding our cover crops. It looks like it will probably start raining here again in the next day or two, so we’re pushing to get as much of the seeding done as we can before the rain makes the rows difficult to get the tractor down.

We seed our cover crops by hand, workers walk down the rows with buckets of the seeds we want plant and toss them onto the ground.

Pictured here are some of the seeds we use for our cover crops. On the left is a Bell Bean, which will form a symbiotic relationship with bacteria in the soil that will help to fix nitrogen out of the air, enriching the soil. Additionally, this plant will draw beneficial insects like ladybugs. Bell beans are not particularly good at suppressing weeds, so we plant Cayuse Oats (pictured on the right) along with them. Cayuse Oats help with weed suppression, and they produce a relatively high amount of biomass, so they will contribute plenty of decomposing green matter to the soil once they eventually get tilled under. Cover crops that get tilled into the soil are known as ‘green manure’.
Once the seeds are sown, we send a tractor down the row with an attachment that drags the soil flat, burying the seeds an inch or two below the surface so they can germinate.
 
Leveling out the soil in the Foxtrot block.

 It’s a fair amount of labor to get it done, but the quality of the organically farmed grapes we produce is worth it. Be sure to check back next week to see what we’re up to!

 
To visit the Amapola Creek Winery main site, please click here.
 
 
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