Green manure, pruning, grafting
The philosophy of organic/biodynamic winegrowing determines the decision to not make use of deep tilling of the ground but, in general, to treat the soil gently: the upper layer forms over very long periods and represents a natural barrier, like an epidermis, that should be preserved. The green manure is planted on fallow ground in order to replenish the reserves of nitrogen (the basic element for the organic structures of the plant), with a nematicidal action (against parasite worms), and to reduce compacting caused by footsteps and the passage of tractors (they create small but deep spaces with their roots, where water and oxygen are collected).
Green manure includes pulses (clover, vetch and beans), cruciferous vegetables (mustard, rapeseed), graminaceous plants (barley, oats) and buckwheat: they are planted between rows and may reach considerable heights.
In some cases the green manure is planted together with plants that have a known action for attracting useful insects to help fight against parasites.
A further important modification to winegrowing practice dictated by biodynamics is linked to the pruning: our agricultural engineers use a less invasive and better targeted technique, following the model of “soft” pruning, which calculates the cuts in accordance with the vascularisation of the plant, in other words by trying not to interrupt the linear flow of the lymphatic channels. The periods for pruning are dictated by the sidereal phases of the moon (waxing and waning): it is carried out in particular in the waning phase because that is the time when the lymph flows more intensely in the root system.
For the same reason, when it is necessary to implant young plants (cuttings) on existing rootstocks, our agricultural engineers use the English double split graft, which makes a smaller callus on the graft and puts the lymphatic vessels of the two parts in direct communication.