Non-chemical weed control tools summary

Each weed management option has advantages and disadvantages in reducing weeds, including suitability in young versus established vineyards, impact on soil, duration of the weed control achieved, operating speed, operating cost and capital cost. The performance of the different tools against a set of key criteria is summarised in this table.

Finger weeder Knife weeder Disc plough Dodge plough Powered rotary tiller Undervine mower/whipper snipper Undervine sweeper Straw mulch Sheep grazing Sown undervine cover crops Volunteer undervine swards
Ability to reduce weed competition with vines Good Good Good Good Good Average Poor Good Average Good (when using weed-suppressing species) Good
Soil disturbance caused Average Average High High High Low Low None Low Low (when using no-till practices) Low
Suitability in young vineyards Good Average Poor Poor Poor Poor Poor Good Poor Good (when using short-season winter active species) Good (provided highly competitive species are not used)
Length of weed control Average Average Good Good Good Poor Poor Good Average Good Good
Operating speed Good Average Average Poor Average Good Good n/a n/a n/a n/a
Operating cost Average Average Average High Average Average Average Low Low Low Low
Capital cost Average Average High Average High High Average Average Low Low Low