The main objectives of weeding are:
- to control competition between roots found in the grass-covered area next to the row of vines.
- to reduce risks of fungal contaminations by splash
- to interact on air circulation and hygrometry around buds or grape bunches, depending on the season.
To work on this area, there are a number of possibilities:
- mechanical weeding
- use of chemicals for weeding
- maintaining a controlled amount of vegetation
- use of heat for weeding
- manual weeding
The soil is above all described as a physical and chemical base, which:
- enables plants to establish themselves thanks to their roots.
- provides trace-elements and water, which are both vital for the plant’s physiological functions (development, growth and reproduction).
- regulates hygrometry and temperature via its buffer capacity, depending on the soil type.
The soil is also a complex biological ecosystem where macro and micro-organisms that structure the soil live in symbiosis, breaking down vegetal or organic detritus and transforming them into stable humus. Among others, these organisms include earthworms, insects, fungi, algae and bacteria…
The final and decisive phase for feeding a plant involves fungi named Mycorrhiza that transform organic elements into soluble mineral elements in water which can then be absorbed by the root.
Any action taken by humans leads to consequences upon this ecosystem. Every year, active substances contained in chemical weed killers are withdrawn from sale (due to their carcinogenic risk). Some of these are not broken down and their residues are found in the soil or water, where they continue to accumulate.
At present, the fate of glyphosate is to be decided by the European Commission.