Removing vegetation between the vine stems is a tricky task and needs some special equipment to do it well and without damaging the vines.
The choice of tool depends on how high the vegetation has grown and how dense it is. Low growing grass or clovers can be dealt with using the Boisselet Filmatic strimmer which acts like a hand held strimmer but mounted onto a tractor and is able to neatly strim in and out of the vines without damage to trunk or tube thanks to either Boisselet’s unique Servo Motor hydraulic sensing system with antenna or the simpler mechanical retraction system with spring sensing.
However if the weeds have grown higher than about 300mm e.g. mature nettles and thistles then a more drastic method needs to be employed. Step up the Mini Rotofil! This remarkable tool from Boisselet is able to deal with even the fiercest nettles, including those up to shoulder height. With a horizontal rotor fitted with 32 cords spinning at 9000rpm the weeds are swiftly removed. To protect the vine trunk or protective tube it is fitted with a bar which pushes the tool away from the vines thanks to a spring mounted parallelogram which then pulls the head back between the vines.
Vitifruit Equipment have many years experience with both these tools and also include them in their hire portfolio. For larger vineyards they also offer the double headed Provitis machine option. The Provitis is just another tool which can be fitted to their mast using their unique quick attachment system. It also acts as a bud rubber when set at a lower rotational speed and the push bar set accordingly.
Videos of all these tools can be seen on the Vitifruit Equipment Facebook page.