Vineyard FAQs

The chosen trellis system should be carefully considered to match the variety, rootstock and vineyard site. Once all three are chosen, only then the trellis type and design should be chosen.

For wine grapes, 12.5 ga or 11 ga wire sizes are common for load bearing wires (cordon wires). For higher yield vineyards, 11 ga wire may be appropriate. For catch wires, 12.5 ga and 14 gauge wire sizes are very common. For anchor tie-backs, the Gripple Gpak4 is a great, time saving option.

It might be best to install the catch wires so that the wires can be moved if so desired. If installed as fixed wires, it will not be possible to move them. Tucking of foliage will be required. If the catch wires are installed as moveable wires, then at least it will be possible to move them during the growing season if so desired, but not required. Theoretically, it is more efficient to move wires up/down to sweep foliage into an upright position, compared to walking down the individual isles (rows) and tucking foliage wires between catch wires.

If triggering machinery off of the vine support stakes, steel pencil rod (2- life smooth or corrugated pencil rod) should be used. If using the vine support stakes simply for vine support, 1/2″ diameter bamboo works fine, and generally lasts about 3 years. The lifespan of bamboo depends upon the weather.

2-life pencil rod will last two times longer than class 3 galvanized rod. Vines tend to grab better onto corrugated rod better then smooth rod. The 2-life corrugated rod is a bit stiffer than the smooth rod.

4-life PLUS is a specially coated wire that will last 5 times longer than class 3 galvanized wire. 4-life PLUS wire costs about the same as class 3 galvanized wire but will basically last a lifetime. The real cost of replacing trellis wire is the labor required to remove/repair rusted wires, not the wire itself.

High tensile wire is the preferred type of trellis wire for vineyards and orchards trellis systems. Before the advent of high-tensile wire, heavy gauge soft wire was the only wire available to growers. The problem with soft wire is that it stretches and elongates, requiring constant re-tensioning. Hi-tensile wire is very strong, does not require constant re-tensioning and is inherently stretchy without significant elongation, which enables hi-tensile wire to stretch if necessary but does not stay stretched or elongated. For example, if a tree falls onto a trellis, the wires will not break (assuming the posts don’t break) but in fact will stretch. The wires will return to their original tension once the fallen tree is removed.

No. 4-life PLUS wire and all hi-tensile wire should not be twisted because it will break. The high carbon content of hi-tensile wire provides strength of the wire, but makes the wire “brittle” compared to soft wire. There are specialized wire joiners for hi-tensile wire which makes joining and tensioning hi-tensile wire very fast and easy. Gripples are very effective for joinIng hi-tensile wires together, and when used with the low cost Gripple tool, tensioning is effortless.

Gripples are amazingly fast and easy to use. Just insert the wire(s) into the Gripple shown by the arrow on the Gripple and tension with the Gripple tensioning tool. When joining two wires together, the two wires are inserted in opposing directions into the Gripple. Use the Gripple tensioning tool to reach the desired tension.

You must match the proper Gripple to the wire size being used. As a general rule of thumb;14 ga wire uses the small Gripple, 12.5 ga wire uses the medium, jumbo or GP#1, 11 ga wire uses the jumbo Gripple or GP#1, 8-10 ga wires uses the Large Gripple.

It depends on the Gripple size used. The two most popular Gripple sizes, the small and medium gripples, are releasable using the Gripple RELEASE key. The Large Gripple is also releasable, but the Jumbo, GP#1 and GP#2 gripples are not releasable.

The Mannwerks vertical trellis post is a great alternative to treated wood line posts. The Mannwerks post is the strongest posts available and is the only post on the market that has not been changed in any way to reduce it’s cost. All other post designs have been smaller (lighter weight) in order to reduce pricing since being introduced into the market. No matter how many folds or bends are in a post profile, less steel ultimately means a weaker post. The built-in slots of the Mannwerks post eliminates the need for staples or wire clips that are required when using wood posts or T-posts.

Depending upon quantity, a hand held pounder, pneumatic driver, gas powered drive or tractor mounted hydraulic pounder are options.

For tieing canes, a degradable tie, such as the Prothec 2-wire beige, 3- wire green or 3-wire Bio ties are ideal. Because canes only need to be tied for a single season, a degradable tie is the proper choice. A longer lasting tie, such as a standard “twist tie” or stretch tie will need to be cut during pruning the following season. A degradable tie will easily break when pulling brush.

Prothec beige, green and Bio ties are specially designed to last only a single season. For tieing established cordons, a longer lasting stretch tie such as CEP or TUBEFIX is recommended. Unlike ties for cane, ties forcordons should last at least several years AND stretch to avoid girdling of the cordon.

The 2-wire beige and 3-wire green ties are both one season ties. The beige tie is recommended for young vines not yet bearing fruit. The green tie is recommended for vines bearing fruit. The green tie has an additional wire compared to the beige tie so it is stronger and suitable for the added load of the crop.

Netting is by far the most effective method of protecting grapes from birds. Scare devices tend to lose their effectiveness rather quickly.

If using a high-wire system, GDC, or Lyre, the only realistic choice is single or multi-row drape-over (Classic) netting. For vertical systems such as VSP, Scott-Henry or Smart-Dyson, you could either use single or multi-row netting OR side-netting such as PermaNet, TightLoch, ZoneNet or SideVine.

Generally speaking, side-nets will be hung (using specialized clips), from one of the catch wires (single wire or double wire) and hang down to cover the only the fruit zone, not the canopy. The degree or severity of bird pressures will determine how well the tops and bottoms of the nets need to be joined together to exclude birds from the fruit. It is very common to permanently attach PermaNet or TightLoch to either the catch wires or a lower wire such as an irrigation wire. When doing this, the nets would be either raised or lowered (at verasion), to cover the fruit. After harvest, the nets can be removed or raised or lowered to a wire for permanent storage until verasion next season, when the entire process is repeated.

The black double hook net clip is an ideal clip to hang side nets from the catch wires and to store side nets to an upper wire when not covering the fruit. Standard or premium catch wire clips are used to hold catch wires about 1″ apart. Net joiners, catch wire clips or the tagging gun and tagging barbs can be used to join the bottoms of nets together if the nets are permanently raised to an upper wire or removed at the end of the season. It the nets are permanently stored on a lower wire, short UV stabilized cable ties should be used to permanently secure net bottoms to the lower wire. By doing this, the bottoms of the nets are secured only once and never fussed with again until the cable ties break down several years later.

Because all of these nets are knitted, they can be safely cut without risk of the nets unraveling. Side-nets that are left permanently onto the trellis will be cut to the individual row lengths. Side-nets and Classic drape-over nets that are removed at the end of every season and are cut to the individual row lengths must be accurately marked with its respective row lengths if the rows vary in length. If the rows are all the same length, then this is not an issue

No. Nets such as Permanet and TightLoch, with smaller apertures (mesh size), are more effective at protecting fruit than larger mesh nets. Smaller mesh nets are suggested for use in vineyards with high or significant bird pressures.

Although it varies with row spacing, on average, 6 rolls of side-netting or 5-1/2 bags of single row drape-over netting are needed per acre.

With proper care, all of the nets Spec Trellising offers, including nets left outdoor permanently on the trellis, will last for many years. All of the nets come with a 10 year UV pro-rated warranty against UV degradation.

Milk cartons simply protect the vine from herbicide sprays and predation from smaller animals such as rabbits, ground hogs, etc…..Grow tubes such as the SnapMax vine shelter protect the vines like milk cartons, but they also promote growth and suppress lateral growth. Milk cartons can be left on the vine got the life of the carton. Grow tubes must be removed in the early fall to avoid potential winter injury to the vine

The flat SnapMax require some assembly prior to installing on the vine. The pre-assembled SnapMax are assembled at the manufacturing factory. The only assembly that is required of pre-assembled SnapMax is to pop them open and place around the vine.

Rotating bars on the model 24 (half-ton) bin are galvanized steel bars that are installed beneath the bin. When using a forklift with a rotatable head to dump fruit into processing equipment, the bin will stay on the forklift forks when completely upside down.

No. Rotating bars on the macrobin 24 are STEEL bars that are very strong and will not break. The plastic runner can easily break, allowing the bin to fall to the ground and possibly injuring someone.

No. Rotating bars are not available on the T-bin. Because of the design of the bin, it is not possible to install rotating bars on the T-bin.

While the pruner is certainly more costly compared to conventional pruners, the increased efficiency realized and the reduction in worker injury due to repetitive motion more than makes up for the increased cost. Generally speaking, workers using the Electrocoup battery powered pruners are 30% more efficient compared to workers using conventional pruners.

Depending upon the the kit (cutting head) used and the density of wood being cut you should expect to get app 8-12 hours use from a single charge using the NiMH battery.

Yes you can. You can purchase different size cutting blades to accommodate varying thicknesses of wood. The cutting heads can be easily changed in a matter of a few minutes. Because of the ergonomically shaped handle and the way in which the blade aperture can be adjusted, very precise cuts can be quickly and easily performed using either the left or right hand.

Because of the patented electronic safety system (safety glove), it is virtually impossible to cut yourself. If the safety glove, which is worn on the opposite hand while pruning, comes in contact with the pruner, the pruner’s electronic circuitry is short circuited, disabling the pruner.

The F3010 pruner as well as all of the other Infaco hand tools are waterproof as long as the helix cable is properly attached to the control box. The battery is not waterproof and should be kept dry at all times.

No. The De-suckering tool is gentle on vines yet strong enough to remove suckers. Rubberized flywheels are available for use when de-suckering younger vines, while steel flywheels are available for use when de-suckering older vines.

All of the Infaco hand tools, including the F3010 pruner, the de-suckering tool and the A3M tie tool can be run on the same NiMH battery except for the olive harvester.

10 reasons to avoid tie tape when tieing vines:

  1. Tie tape is made of PVC; an environmentally unfriendly product with a very long lifespan
  2. Tie tape will girdles vines
  3. Tie tape needs to be retied every year or two (on cordons)
  4. When tieing canes, tie tape must be cut and removed during pruning; it doesn’t breakdown
  5. Tie tape ends eventually ends up in landfills, waterways
  6. Tie tape becomes embedded into cordons/trunks if not removed
  7. Tie tape can remain on trellis wire for many years
  8. Tie tape is costly to use on cordons because it must be cut, removed and retied every year or two, otherwise it will girdle
  9. Very unslightly when sunlight hits it at the right angle
  10. Deadly dioxins (extremely carcinogenic to humans) produced during manufacturing process AND WHEN BURNED!

10 reasons why growers should use prothec tie products when training vines

  1. Degradable prothec is very fast to tie when tieing canes
  2. Degradable prothec breaks down, making pruning much easier and faster because it does not need to be cutter while pruning
  3. Degradable prothec is much easier on workers’ hand when tieing canes
  4. Degradable prothec is environmentally friendly compared to tie tape
  5. Degradable BIO prothec is environmentally friendly, transforming into compost
  6. Stretchable prothec (CEP) lasts for years and expands with plant growth
  7. Stretchable prothec (CEP) does not need to be cut, removed and retired every 1-2 years like tie tape, because it stretches
  8. Stretchable prothec (CEP) does not break when machined harvested
  9. Stretchable prothec (CEP) is environmentally friendly compared to tie tape because you use much less tie material than tie tape
  10. Significant labor savings obtained when using CEP because you tie the vine once and forget about it