To ensure safe weed control around the vines without resorting to chemicals, sophisticated equipment is required built to an exacting standard. There are many tools on the market but the outstanding manufacturer is the French firm Boisselet based in Burgundy who have been manufacturing tools for vineyards since the 1820’s.
The beating heart of their system is the Servo Motor, unique on the market and giving major advantages when guiding the weeder head safely around the base of the vine. Thanks to its unrivalled power and sensitivity it can work at speed around young and old vines alike and deal with all types of soil.
The current Servo model is the EVO 4 and like its predecessors has two mounting points, the one at the front is fixed position and normally used with a disc and the one behind is articulating allowing the working head to move in and out between the vine trunks; in this way the two most popular tools working together are disc and simple knife blade when shallow working. However if the soil conditions are difficult e.g. dry and hard or if the weed growth is rampant the tool head can be swapped out and the rotating Petalmatic plugged in.
It is also possible to fit a second Servo Motor on the opposite side of the carrying tool bar frame as well as a wealth of other tools making the system extremely versatile. For those who do not want to disturb the soil the Filmatic Strimmer can be plugged in. This tool is the only one which can strim or mow right up to the vine stem without leaving an uncut patch. With over 45 Boisselet units sold and at work in the UK, Vitifruit Equipment also offer a hire service for smaller vineyards. Examples of these tools at work can be seen on the Vitifruit Equipment Facebook page.