Weed and Vegetation Management

General strategy The type of vine support structure and the method of irrigation influence weed management. Shade from pergolas reduces light available for weed germination and growth. A T-bar trellis may facilitate growth of perennial sods or winter cover crops between the kiwi rows for soil conservation. Drip irrigation reduces weed germination and growth within rows and in aisles. Minimize weed competition and interference within rows. (See "Section L: Orchards and Vineyards" in this handbook.)

Cultivation Tillage controls annual weeds while suppressing perennials, depending on tilling frequency (every three weeks as necessary to eventually deplete perennials). Adverse effects include soil erosion from sloping sites, soil compaction, and reduced water infiltration during winter rains (except in very sandy soils).

Mowing or flailing Mowing or flailing grass sods or weedy vegetation in aisles improves trafficability, prevents erosion, and improves soil conditions. Improved turfgrasses, combined with water and fertilizer management for both the crop and sod, offer long-term advantages in soil management.

Herbicides Kiwifruit roots proliferate in undisturbed, competition-free strips, representing a third to half the area depending on moisture availability. New plantings may benefit from nearly vegetation-free conditions during three years of establishment. Choose combinations of practices that act together to achieve your desired level of vegetation management.