Helping vineyards find the right kit to deal with the weeds.
This season has been challenging to say the least. The wet and warm weather has encouraged the weeds to flourish and David Sayell at Vitifruit Equipment has been extra busy helping vineyards find the right kit to deal with the weeds by hiring and selling both herbicide sprayers and under vine Boisselet hoes and strimmers.
Many vineyards are new to the Boisselet equipment so David explained that his practice is to take the kit to the vineyard and try out the various modular add-ons to find out which is the most suitable for the soil type, weed abundance etc before starting the hire period.
With the diversity of soil types and conditions experienced, knowing exactly what you are working with and understanding how best to address specific issues is imperative. Flexibility is the order of the day and the Boisselet range adapts to meet any needs. Finding the perfect fit means assessing all the options for working in the ground these options are:
Cutmatic – simple knife blade for shallow work. Speed 4 to 8 kph.
Petalmatic – rotating head 250 mm or 350 mm diameter. Speed 2.5 to 3 kph for deeper more powerful work undercutting and shaking out the weed roots from the soil. This is normally done first thing in the spring and straight after harvest and followed by the faster Cutmatic during the summer. It is also used to pull out and level any soil ridges which have been pushed over the graft.
Petalmatic Plus – by adding one or two yellow rubber ” fins” to the Petalmatic vertical blades it is possible to stroke the stems of more mature vines and pull away any weeds.
Discs and hoes – to be inserted in front or behind the Cutmatic or Petalmatic to broaden the cultivated strip, cut a clean line between the grass alley and cultivated strip or cut through tall grass and weeds to stop them clogging up the main tool.
Rollhack – a clod breaker for use in low weed density sites in dry or stony ground to move soil along a line beside the vines and push it toward the vines; usually used in conjunction with the Cutmatic or if the soil is dry and loose with the finger weeder.
Finger weeder – for use in low weed density and previously cultivated dry soil to run along the side of the vines disturbing the soil between the vine stems with rubberised fingers which push the soil rather than undercutting and thus is only used in kind dry soil types which move easily.
There are also options for working above ground:
Filmatic Strimmer – to strim in and out between the vines.
Mini Rotofil – multi head strimmer to run along the outside of the vines clearing long grass and weeds; clearing the strip between the vine stems and the mowed alleyway.