Maurizio Boselli, Chair of Viticulture - University of Verona (Italy)
Historically farmers have tried to modify the microclimate of plants in order to accelerate growth, increase the yield or anticipate ripening. The use of “mini-hothouses” covering plants began in Great Britain in 1979. Graham Tuley was the first person to wrap polyethylene around a traditional protection made of plastic-mesh, thus trying to increase the value of growth of newly planted trees.
The success of this technique led to an enormous diffusion of Shelter protections for trees of different species. Many techniques within the category of “protected cultivations” can be used to increase the temperature of the soil’s air, increase the humidity surrounding the plant, diminish the pressure of insects and diseases and / or reduce the hydric stress like individual protections for plants denominated “growing tubes” or Shelters.
The purpose of the present work is to verify the influence caused by the use of the ALUMINIUM SHELTERS on the microclimate of vine shoots, on their degree of growth and how the new material of which a Shelter is manufactured can adapt to the numerous operations of cultivation which are undertaken in the vineyard.
The ALUMINIUM SHELTER has determined:
By limiting the difference with the outside temperature due to the reflective power of the material, the ALUMINIUM SHELTERS maintain values of temperature inside which are not excessive. They efficiently maintain a good degree of humidity throughout the year, thus diminishing the necessity of having to irrigate the growing plant. The behavior of the ALUMINIUM SHELTER has been more efficient than the plastic protection, which furthermore involves the problems related to the excessive use caused by plastic products.