Print version ISSN 0365-2807
OVALLE, Carlos; DEL POZO, Alejandro; LAVIN, Arturo and HIRZEL, Juan. Cover Crops in Vineyards: Performance of Annual Forage Legume Mixtures and Effects on Soil Fertility. Agric. Téc. [online]. 2007, vol.67, n.4, pp. 384-392. ISSN 0365-2807. http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0365-28072007000400006.
With the objective of evaluating and selecting cover crops to improve soil management in vineyards (Vitis vinifera L.) cv. Cabernet Sauvignon, five cover pastures were evaluated: a) control without vegetation; b) control with spontaneous vegetation; c) legume mixture of early maturing cultivars of subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum L.) and burr medic (Medicago polymorpha L.); d) legumes mixture of late maturing cultivars of subterranean clover and balansa clover (T. michelianumSavi); and e) legumes mixture of late maturing cultivars and annual ryegrass (Lolium rigidum Gaud.). The study was conducted at Cauquenes Experimental Center, Agriculture Research Institute (INIA), over two seasons, 2005-2006 and 2006-2007. The experimental design was randomized blocks with four replicates. The three pasture mixtures had a good establishment and achieved high populations. Biomass production was significantly higher (P ≤ 0.05) in the mixtures with late maturing cultivars of subterranean clover and balansa clover, compared to the mixture of early maturing cultivars of subterranean clover and burr medic (2.3 to 4 t DM ha-1 yr -1 and 5.3 to 6.2 t DM ha-1 yr -1 in the first and second year, respectively). The contents of N, P and K in the biomass of the cover crops were higher (P ≤ 0.05) than those covers with spontaneous species, which allowed for increasing the content of available N in the soil. As well, higher contents of K and P were detected in the soil. The over crops exercised an important detrimental effect on the population of the spontaneous species that grow in the inter-rows of the vineyard.
Keywords : cover crops.