Cover Crops

February 26, 2013

This month continues to be warm and relatively dry, bringing us closer and closer to the start of the growing season for our vines.

The balmy February weather has also gotten our cover crops growing. In this picture you can see the mustard blooming all across the Montana Vista block.

The balmy February weather has also gotten our cover crops growing. In this picture you can see the mustard blooming all across the Montana Vista block.

Cover crops are grown from seeds that we sow in the vineyard rows just after harvest.

We use a mixture of mustard, oats, peas, and beans in our cover crops. You can see us mixing the various types of seeds together before sowing in this picture.

We use a mixture of mustard, oats, peas, and beans in our cover crops. Here you can see us mixing the various types of seeds together before sowing.

Each type of plant serves a different purpose in preserving the health of the vineyard; mustard and peas draw beneficial insects and add biomass to the soil, oats help to anchor the soil in place with their fibrous root systems, and beans help fix nitrogen into the soil, improving its’ nutrient status.

Wild plants also play an important role in the vineyard. These calendulas (pot marigolds) are popping up all over the vineyards this time of year. They are powerful attractors of beneficial insects which keep the pest load in our vineyards low.

Wild plants also play an important role in the vineyard. These calendulas (pot marigolds) are popping up all over the property this time of year. They are powerful attractors of beneficial insects which keep the populations of pests in our vineyards low.

While some more rain would be nice, we are still enjoying the mild days. Flowers are opening up all over the property and you can practically feel Spring coming.

Most of the peas and beans have not started to flower yet, but here is one early pea-bloom from the Foxtrot block.

Most of the peas and beans have not started to flower yet, but here is one early pea-bloom from the Foxtrot block.

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Amapola Creek is Richard Arrowoods’ latest winemaking project, to visit the Amapola Creek Winery main site, please click here.

 

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