We Are Very Tied Down At Present!

April 2nd, 2010

Vineyard work has moved on to the process of tying the vines down onto the wires of the trellising. There is of course the usual and healthy management debate as to which is the preferred method ! Should we use a Max Tapener gun (which works a lot like an office stapler, wrapping green tape around both cane and wire before stapling and cutting) or alternatively those bio-degradable twist wire ties. Which is faster, more durable, most practical etc etc? In the end, a healthy British compromise is reached and both are used – we will report on the outcome of a comparison between the two later in the year. The idea here is to create a nice clean sweeping curve in the tied down cane, looping over the top fruiting wire and then down to the lower wire, onto which the vine is ultimately fixed. By this means we aim to avoid what is known as ‘end point principle’, where all the sap rushed to the extreme end of the cane, producing more vigorous growth at the expense of the mid point canes. By creating an arch, we slow the sap down, trapping more at the mid high point and by so doing achieve a more even vigour. The canes are brittle at this time (although a little less so as the sap is now beginning to flow), and great care must be taken to avoid snapping those few precious canes chosen to remain after pruning, otherwise significant yield will be lost from the vine this year. When tying down is completed, pruning can begin in the new vineyard, which we planted last May.

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