Green manure indicates the autumn (and spring) seeding of one or more herbaceus plants in the rows of the vines. Once these plants grow, they will be cut and buried.

The main species for green manure belong to three families: graminueous plants, leguminous plants and brassicaceae. Every family and species have a different effect on the soil due to the root system and to the different quantity of biomass.

With this in mind, the selection of the mixture of seeds is very important and in depends on the needs of the vineyard. In terms of exploitation of water resources one of the key aspects of the green manure is the quantity of biomass ensured with this operation. The dry buried substance is able to improve the soil structure by increasing the organic substance and improving the power of water.

The growth these plants in the vineyard and then bury the plant mass improves the fertility of the soil from a chemical, physical and biological point of view. Horseradish and mustard contrasts the presence of nematodes in the soil.



When is the best time to proceed with green manure planting in the vineyard?

Green manure plants reach a height of 1,5-2 meters, for this reason the seeding is carried out on alternative rows to allow these operations in the row without green manure.

You proceed in autumn after a superficial milling and harrowing of the soil. If the soil is heavy or compacted it is better to carry out the subsoiling before milling and harrowing.

To carry out the seeding operation it is better to use a seeding machine able to manage the distribution of seeds with different dimensions as evenly as possible. The seed shall be buried a few centimeters because a bigger depth can create problems in the germination.

Green manure plants grow very quickly in spring and the summer bloom can last 40-50 days. This fact excludes the application of plant protection products which are toxic for bees and pollinating insects.

In summer, at the end of the blooming, the grass needs to be cut with a mower and buried with a power harrow with disks or a plough.

This management allows to ensure a ground cover for all winter period and protect the soil from erosion phenomena caused by the rain during autumn and winter. In this way it is possible to restrict the leaching phenomena by increasing the organic substance in the soil. During the spring period the grass growth is buried to delete in dry periods the competition of herbaceous essence with the vine.

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What are the advantages of practicing green manure in the vineyard?

A 7 years’ study carried out by the E. Mach Foundation (Trento) has stated that in a vineyard of Pinot bianco and Riesling the organic substance has growth of 29% in the soil with green manure, while the ones treated with the classic technique this substance has remained the same.

According to the study, the stable fraction of the organic substance has been increased, the one represented by organic compounds resistant to microbial attack such as lignin, wax, resin, suberin which remain and integrate with the mineral matrix of the soil. This stabilization process of the organic substance on one side it helps to pull out carbon in the soil which would be spread in the atmosphere as CO2, on the other hand it is a nutrient reserve of slow release.

This is a fundamental aspect because, in order to ensure an adequate fertility of agricultural soils, it is necessary to carry out agricultural operations to prevent this fertility and integrate not only the slow release of nutrients (unstable element) but also the improvement of the soil structure and its properties (stable element).


Green manure in the vineyard is a vital agricultural practice for regenerating and maintaining soil fertility, as it contributes significantly to increasing stable organic matter and preserving water resources.

Careful selection of green manure species and their proper management are key to maximizing the benefits of this technique. In this context, Forigo machines are indispensable tools, contributing to sustainable and productive agricultural management of the vineyard. Contact us for more information-we are always ready to measure up with you!

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Agrotti Michele

Written by Agrotti Michele

Graduated in Agricultural Sciences and Technologies at the University of Padua, in Forigo Roteritalia he is involved in training and consulting for Italy and foreign Countries.

Forigo ® Roteritalia srl
Via Brennero Nord, 9
456035 Ostigila
Mantova - Italy


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