In October 2015, we seeded the Pinot Noir block:
Magnus peas, Vetch, Bell beans, Barley, Oats, Bracco mustard, Common/oriental mustard, Canola mustard, Daikon radish, and Nemagon mustard.
By creating these humble oases of greenery between the vines, our soils are benefited by the added organic matter. The sprouts breath life to the soil, provide a habitat for beneficial insects such as lacewings and parasitic wasps which are natural predators for harmful pests like leaf hoppers and mites.
The cover crops also helped protect our fragile soils from erosion during the recent rainy season. After the cover crop has gone to seed (and the tractor can get in) we either mow it, if we want to decrease the vigor, or till it into the soil if we want to build up the top layer of matter.
Photos by Damien Maloney