Advice on cordon height

Discussion in 'Commercial Winery Forum' started by Rob S, Dec 6, 2018 at 5:14 PM.

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  1. Dec 6, 2018 at 5:14 PM #1

    Rob S

    Rob S

    Rob S

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    Planted more vines last year and want to train them correctly this time so hoping you can suggest the right cordon height to train these new vines. They are Frontenac Blanc, Louise swenson, and Petite Pearl. I'm in zone 4B near Ottawa Ontrio.

    Thanks,

    Rob S[​IMG]
     
  2. Dec 6, 2018 at 6:51 PM #2

    Masbustelo

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    My vote is a height that is comfortable for you, when working with the vines, like pruning, spraying and harvesting. Minimally they need to be five feet. I have some at seven feet, because I walk under them frequently in my yard. Take a look at Geneva double curtain while you are at this stage.
     
  3. Dec 6, 2018 at 9:14 PM #3

    StevenD55

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    Ditto on the comfort. Just be careful that vines don’t become so tall that bird netting has to be so awkwardly sized.
     
  4. Dec 7, 2018 at 12:54 AM #4

    Rob S

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    Hi, thanks both of you for the advice. My concern is the netting. In the past the vines were at a 3 foot cordon and some canes were trained higher and lower and I ended up with a maximum height of 6 feet. Any higher my nets will not fit to cover everything properly, and working on the vines any higher would get difficult too. So my concern is if they are trained at 5 feet, then will some of the growth reach as high at 7 or 8 feet and thus become awkward as StevenD55 might be suggesting? Not saying that the 3 feet is the right way to go, as I might have been not training my Frontenac Red and Marquette at the right height in the first place, not sure. Another vineyard I asked also suggested 5 feet. Unless there is a way to train everything down so stays not much higher than the 5 foot cordon, I can see a possibility. I just want to get started correctly to avoid having to correct any mistakes later down the road.

    Cheers,

    Rob
     
  5. Dec 7, 2018 at 1:18 AM #5

    wxtrendsguy

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    Often hybrids are on top wire cordon at 6 ft and then hang down with the fruit at 6 feet. Since these hybrid vines will be vigorous you can easily let the canopy hang down 6 feet with basically no canopy maintenance. If they reach all the way to the ground and then spread you can just mow them. Fruit will be up above and exposed to some sun , away from deer as well with little or no leaf thinning...trellis is cheaper as well...less wire...
     
  6. Dec 7, 2018 at 5:06 AM #6

    StevenD55

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    I have both of those varieties as well. And that was the problem I had when 5’ high. Canes grew and hung down. But I had a lot of clusters near the top wire or higher. The netting was really tight when anchored on the ground. Birds could work with beak and claws to get to the clusters and do a lot of damage. With lower wires and vertical shoot positioning, the clusters are lower than the top of the canes and more difficult for birds to reach.
     
  7. Dec 7, 2018 at 12:49 PM #7

    Rob S

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    I understand the advantage with 5 feet a bit better now given the vines shoots will hang down, but the netting getting over stretched risking birds being able to work their way into the clusters would be another concern, I have seen a bit of this already. Given costs of more wires is not a concern for me and can do some vertical positioning and some horizontal along with some leaf pulling and some shoot removal and some hedging, so wondering if 3 feet or 4 feet might be still a good compromise? Would 4 feet perhaps reduce the stretching and bird issue yet be high enough for fruit to get good sun, while 3 feet would not be high enough. For deer and racoon issues, I control them with an electic fence. Appreciate so much all the advice you folks are giving me.

    Cheers,

    Rob
     
  8. Dec 7, 2018 at 3:22 PM #8

    StevenD55

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    The growth with 4’ tall was a little high for my 12’ wide netting. I think most are about 42” or so.
     
  9. Dec 7, 2018 at 6:54 PM #9

    Rob S

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    That sounds great and will see how wide my nets are, and if 12' wide will go with 42''. Wish I could do it 6 feet as wxtrendsguy suggest but have invested all I want in all that netting and not keen to change the netting, lol.

    Thanks everyone,

    All the best with your winemaking!

    Rob
     
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  10. Dec 8, 2018 at 2:25 PM #10

    salcoco

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    it sounds like you are taking 12 ft netting and draping it over the vine so that is is about 6 ft on each side. I used 6ft cordon and netting that was 7 feet for each side . used clothes pins to seal the top and bottom. netting was like a cocoon around grapes . I also began summer pruning any vines sticking out the side to allow netting better layering. worked great.
     
  11. Dec 8, 2018 at 4:50 PM #11

    montanarick

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    for my marquette, frontenac and petite pearl the top fruiting wire is about 5' and i have no problem with bird netting - i use 17' wide netting. i'm also using low cordon, at about 30", for petite pearl (4-arm kniffen) because they grow very slow here in Montana
     
  12. Dec 8, 2018 at 5:17 PM #12

    Rob S

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    I just checked some of my nets and the good news is looks like they are wide enough for a cordon height of 5 or 6 feet after all. Like the idea of letting the growth all hang down with less maintenance and more sun exposure for the fruit. I'm now sold on the idea.
     
  13. Dec 8, 2018 at 11:57 PM #13

    montanarick

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    Good luck - i'm already chomping at the bit waiting for next spring
     
  14. Dec 9, 2018 at 12:24 AM #14

    StevenD55

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    I tried that and stitched it together with cord. It worked ok at the top. But raccoons tore it up underneath.

    I weigh mine down on the ground with rocks and boards. It doesn’t stop raccoons. But they don’t tear nets up as bad giving access to all of the birds.

    But whatever works for you.
     

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