Caring from the ground up

This is how we care for the vines at this time of the year; last summer's silage gracing the under-row.

There are a few reasons why.  First, the silage builds up the organic content of the soil beneath, as it breaks up in the weather.  Also, the silage layer helps the soil retain moisture as this dry spring draws to summer.  The moisture that has been in the upper soil from winter has long gone, with plant take-up and just plain old evaporation.  This is how it should be.  Shedding that moisture has allowed the soil to warm up at its best rate.  The warming of the soil - up through 10 degrees Celsius - spurs on the plant growth.  But now the vine growth is up and away, the silage cap allows moisture to pass down, but slows its rate of evaporation. 

Like an organic diode! 

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