With the mowing on alternate rows, the cutting of grass of the entire surface will therefore be carried out at two different times, 20 days or more from each other.
The mowed and shredded grass remains in the vineyard, increasing the Organic substance present and improving the fertility of the soil.
The mowing in alternate rows has various advantages (its only flaw could be having to divide the mowing operation into 2 times):
- Allows the stable lawn between the rows to flower and spread its seeds on the ground, constantly renewing itself;
- Favors a vital abundance of pollinating insects (bees firts), which find nourishment in the pollen of the flowers and shelter in the uncut grass;
- The tall grass offers an ideal habitat for the reproduction of animals of various species: voles, pheasants, hares;
- The tall grassoffers support and prevents the wheels from sinking after the rains, avoiding consequent less compaction of the soil.
- However, the mown row allows the farmer to perform the various manual operations walking without hindrance.
The shredding of pruning residues consists into crumble the shoots cut and thrown to the ground (sarmenti). This operation must be preceded by the removal of the shoots of the vines attacked by wood diseases, such as Esca (Apoplexy).
A vineyard can offer about 23-24 quintals of vine shoots able to become 4-8 quintals of humus once the humification process (necessary to return Organic substance to the soil) has been completed.
In addition to restitution of about 25% of the vineyard’s organic substance intake, the chopping of the vine shoots releases also significant quantities of mineral elements (10-30% of the annual requirement in macroelements and 30-50% in microelements, source: Corradi C. ‘Legno di potatura: se ne parlerà molto presto’ in Notiziario fitopatologico del Consorzio Fitosanitario Provinciale di Reggio Emilia n.1/2007, pag. 19-20) which makes this practice very convenient, as it can reduce the amount of fertilizers.