Cover crops

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. This page provides links to a range of resources on cover crops, as well as a list of articles for further in-depth reading.



  • 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).

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