Vineyard weed communities were examined under the influence of an organic weed control practice, soil cultivation with a Clemens cultivator, and applications of the herbicide glyphosate. Experimental treatments (winter–spring glyphosate, spring cultivation, fall–spring cultivation, fall cultivation–spring glyphosate) were carried out in a California wine grape vineyard for 3 yr. Cultivation alone was not as effective as glyphosate, based on lower weed biomass in the glyphosate-only treatment in 2 of 3 yr. However, given that two passes with the Clemens cultivator decreased weed biomass relative to one pass, it is possible that additional passes could bring about further reductions. Pairing fall cultivation with glyphosate was as effective at reducing weed biomass as two glyphosate applications in 2 of 3 years, suggesting that substituting a glyphosate application with cultivation may be an effective method of reducing herbicide use in vineyards. Canonical correspondence analysis revealed significant treatment effects on community structure. Weed composition in the spring cultivation treatment was significantly different from that of all other treatments. Based on our findings of high relative abundance of field bindweed and sowthistle species, which are problematic vineyard weeds that grow into the vine canopy and disrupt canopy management practices, it is possible that either the presence of soil disturbance or the absence of herbicides favored these species.
Nomenclature: Glyphosate, annual sowthistle, Sonchus oleraceus L. SONAL, field bindweed, Convolvulus arvensis L. CONAR, spiny sowthistle, Sonchus asper (L.) Hill SONAS, wine grape, Vitis vinifera L. ‘Merlot’