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Organic Nourishment

Updated: Nov 30, 2021

It's the most vivid scene in Piemonte: Vineyard full of layers of colours, the morning fog wraps the valley like soft cotton, then in the afternoon, when the air clears up and the sun is shining, everything seems so clear, tender and terrific...

When the harvests are done, the vineyard after the "hard work" goes into resting. At this time, the grape vines are in one of their most depleted states in terms of nutrients. Last year we used the organic fertilizer in the form of guano (bird droppings), while this year we experimenting with a new way of organic fertilizing called 'green manuring' or 'cover crops'.

The primary objective of green manuring in the vineyard is to improve the fertility of the soil, but there are also many other benefits such as weed control, containment of erosion, improvement of the organic substance, favoring biodiversity and the contribution of microelements, etc.

There are many types of the plants to choose from. We applied one called "Brassica juncea" in Italian, corresponding to "brown mustard" or "Chinese mustard" in English. The optimal sowing time is autumn, in northern Italy more or less from 10 October to 20 November. If the sowing is too early the plants develop excessively and therefore become sensitive to low temperatures, if you delay too much the seedlings are not sufficiently developed to withstand the cold winters... We turned the ground and sowed the seeds the first week of November. Just one week after the sowing, the seeds start to sprout already. And two weeks later, the vineyard rows are already decorated by the green sprouts lines.

About in May, the brown mustard in flowering then will be mowed twice with about twenty days in between, marking then the finishing of the green manure. We are imagining our vineyard in spring, will blossom like below (photo credit: ortodacoltivare). A bright scene we can look forward to...

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