Water use of cool season grasses and their effect on grapevine (Vitis vinifera) growth and development Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/hq37vq945

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  • The use of grass cover crops is a recommended practice in nonirrigated vineyards in the Willamette Valley, Oregon. Two studies were initiated to investigate the competitive and noncompetitive effects of grass cover crops on the growth and development of Pinot noir grapevines. Two greenhouse pot culture experiments were performed to investigate the allelopathic potential of cool season grasses. In the first experiment grass and uncallused grapevine cuttings were established simultaneously in 4 liter pots filled with sand with no fallow strip. Water and nutrients were supplied at luxury levels so as to be nonlimiting. Differences in rooting and growth of the grapevines was a function of the growth habit of the grass. Allelopathy was not apparent. In the second greenhouse experiment perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne cv.'Elka') was established in 15 liter sand:peat filled pots before uncallused grapevines were planted directly in the grass. Water and nutrients were supplied at luxury levels. Root initiation was inhibited under the ryegrass, with only 24% of the cuttings initiating rooting. Allelopathy may have been involved. A 2 year field study was also initiated to investigate the consumptive water use of 4 cool season grasses (L. perenne, A. tenuis, F. arundinacea. and D. glomerata) used as cover crops in Oregon vineyards under low maintenance conditions. Seasonal evapotranspiration and total depletion of soil water did not differ significantly among species, and was significantly greater than bareground in the early summer months. In late summer months evapotranspiration of the grasses was not significantly different than evaporation from bareground. Establishment of unrooted grapevine cuttings placed directly into established perennial ryegrass turf is unlikely to be successful. Once vineyards are well established, grass cover crops can provide benefits to the vineyard without strong competition for soil water during the summer months.
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