Cover crops are crops planted between and under grapevines in a vineyard. There are a number of reasons for adopting this practice including protecting soil from erosion, improving soil structure and water-holding capacity, suppressing weeds and providing nutrients. Cover crops also help increase biodiversity, providing habitat for beneficial insects and therefore supporting integrated pest management.
- Wine Australia’s online resources on cover crops
- Cover Crop Finder – this is a decision support tool designed to aid the selection of cover crops suitable for use in Australian vineyards. By entering criteria based on the purpose for the cover crop, the minimum rainfall and a choice between perennials or annual crops, a list of cover crops that match those criteria will be generated.
- Under-vine cover cropping (Wine Australia fact sheet)
- Ask the AWRI: Root pruning and cover crops combine to control vigour (PDF article)
- The ins and outs of under-vine cover cropping (AWRI webinar 16 July 2020)
- Vine medication – the benefits of under-vine cover cropping (AWRI webinar 25 October 2018)
- Cover crop update (AWRI webinar 15 April 2016)
- Abad, J., Hermoso de Mendoza, I., Marín, D., Orcaray, L., Santesteban, L.G. 2021. Cover crops in viticulture. A systematic review (1): Implications on soil characteristics and biodiversity in vineyard. OENO One 55(1): 295-312.
- Bowles, T.M., Jackson, L.E., Loeher, M., Cavagnaro, T.R. 2017. Ecological intensification and arbuscular mycorrhizas: a meta-analysis of tillage and cover crop effects. J. Appl. Ecol. 54 (6): 1785-1793.
- Karl, A., Merwin, I.A., Brown, M.G., Hervieux, R.A., Vanden Heuvel, J.E. 2016. Impact of undervine management on vine growth, yield, fruit composition, and wine sensory analyses in Cabernet Franc. Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 67 (3): 269-280.
- Penfold, C., Howie, J., Weckert, M., Nordblom, T. 2019. Under-vine cover cropping – a source of vine medication. Aust. N.Z. Grapegrower Winemaker (671): 34-38.
- Pérez-Álvarez, E.P., García-Escudero, E., Peregrina, F. 2015. Soil nutrient availability under cover crops: effects on vines, must, and wine in a Tempranillo vineyard. Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 66 (3): 311-320.
- Vikicevich, E., Lowery, T., Bowen, P., Úrbez-Torres, J.R., Hart, M. 2016. Cover crops to increase soil microbial diversity and mitigate decline in perennial agriculture. A review. Agron. Sust. Dev. 36 (48).
Contact the AWRI information services team to request a copy of resources not available online.