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Constructing the Trellis

I had already decided on a training scheme when planning the vineyard. However I wasn't sure of the details of the trellis construction. In order to put the job out to tender I needed a specification. Again I went back to "From Vines to Wine" for advice. 

In the end I compromised with the scheme that Cox recommends in the book and one I had seen from the Department of Horticulture at University of Missouri. This resulted in the final specification.

The tender was won by Robert Bishop Fencing. A week later Robert himself duly arrived to start the installation. The following week was probably the worst weather-wise so far this year, but Robert soldiered on none the less.

The end posts were the first to go in.  Robert had a small auger to help get them in but still had to largely drive them in by hand to make sure they were firm.

As shown below the end posts were braced to a bracing post that was sunk in four feet down the row. The spec had called for these posts to be sunk further away but Robert was unable to get long enough bracing posts so as a result the bracing was going to interfere a bit with each end plant, but only really at ground level.

The plan was to use Tubex "Vine Originals" round the plants while they were young. These were quickly and efficiently supplied by Cheviot Trees. The tubes are held in position by being attached to a wire at just over two feet above ground. The positioning of this wire is quite critical as if it is too high it tends to pull the tubes out of the ground. We still have a problem to this day with row No 2 where Robert was a bit high!

Robert's recommendation for tensioning was simple and cost effective. He fixed each end of the wire firmly to the end post and then in each run of wire Robert installed a Gripple. These wonderful devices are like one way valves for wire. You can pull wire through but can't slip back. So with my Grippler tool I can now re-tension any wire by simply yanking the end. My only one fear with this method is that in time the vines may prevent easy access to the gripples.

Anyway, after a tough week and a half everything was done and we were just in time for planting. Just as well really as the vines had arrived at the start of the second week.

    © McLeod 2007