One of the key parts of sustainable farming is growing cover crops. Cover crops benefits are vast; they promote beneficial insect flight within the vineyards in early spring, allow us to incorporate high biomass organic material naturally back into the soils, regulate the growth of specific grapevines to enhance vine-to-vine uniformity, limit berry size to further concentrate flavors and help naturally control erosion.
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Based on each vineyard block’s needs, each fall, we seed different types of ground cover to different rows, such as clover, mustard, insectary mixes and even fava beans. (Like many legumes, fava beans help replenish nitrogen in soils that are deficient–another cover crops benefit in vineyard farming). Because we precision farm at Jordan, cover crops can even change within a single row if soil profiles vary. Our cover crops are primary annuals, but perennials, such as clovers and chamomile, grow naturally and never need to be seeded. Each spring, once budbreak complete and flowering has almost begun in the vineyards, we mow the cover crops that have gone to seed and make a tilling pass to incorporate the ground cover crops back into the soil.