Vine tying is one of the most important aspects of training new vines and maintaining vine structure in your vineyard. Although it may seem simple and routine, there are a range of common mistakes made which can damage your vines.
What are the most common mistakes?
The most common mistake made is not using the right tools and products when vine tying. Using the wrong product can lead to extensive vine damage, restricted growth or will just be ineffective. One product that should never be used for vine tying includes cable ties - their tight grip on the vine will severely restrict the growth.
Secondly, using the correct products in the wrong way is also a common mistake. Examples of this include having the right tie, but tying it too tightly around the vine. There needs to be a balance between making the vine secure and allowing room for growth. Using the correct tie in the wrong way can cause many issues. Examples of using a tie incorrectly include double tying and selecting the wrong size.
Preparing for vine tying
You can prepare yourself for vine tying and if it is your first season doing so, then it is highly recommended that you practice on some older, broken vines first. By doing this, you’ll learn how it feels when a vine is close to snapping, allowing you to be more delicate and careful when handling younger vines. You’ll also be able to experience the different sounds the vine makes (known as crunching) when being handled. Be aware that a small amount of crunching is okay, but be aware of when you’re reaching the breaking point.
When do I need to tie my vines?
Tying your vines is an ongoing process when running a vineyard and will be a task you need to incorporate into different stages from planting right though to retraining. During the planting stage, you’ll need to make sure that the shoots are attached to a stake to help with trunk establishment.
If you’re looking to lay down new cordons in your vineyard, then making sure your ties are suitable is essential such as our VineFix ties. These ties will offer great support but will allow the vine to continue to grow in a healthy way. As well as this, due to the elasticity of VineFix, you will find that re-ting the vines doesn’t need to happen as regularly, you can leave the vines for longer than usual if using regular ties. It is recommended though that you check vines on a regular basis whatever tying product you decide to use. These checks allow you to alter the ties before any issues arise and permanent damage is caused. When used on young vines (less than a year old) make sure the VineFix tie has a loose fit between the cane and vine.
The other advantage of VineFix is that it comes in a variety of size options so as well as not having to re-tie them as often, you also have options to help support your vine throughout various stages of its life. An extra advantage is if the right size tie has been selected, it should degrade before any girdling can begin to occur. If you find the ties you use are becoming too tight, simply cut them off and apply new ones.
If you would like to know more about VineFix and our Vinevale range, contact our grower support team on 01304 842280 and we'll be happy to help.