Setting up trellises

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I'm new to this, and when installing trellis wire on my first couple runs I simply wrapped the wire around the end post once, put a few staples around the post and wrapped the wire around itself. I now know that high tensile wire weakens when you do that, but my question is how much of an issue is this? My trellises are only 50 ft long. I am not going to install wires this way going forward (I am planning on using crimpers), but do I need to take these wires down and redo them? Thdy seem strong. I don't want to waste the wire, but if there's a chance they will break in the future then I will. I'll try to send pictures. Thanks!
 

salcoco

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that works what your really need to do is place a tightener in line with the wire. over time it will sag from the weight of the grapes and every spring you will need to tighten them up .
 

Johny99

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I think you are fine. As salcoco says, there are tightened you can get that wrap on the wire. The ones I use are called Gallaghers. My trellises are ~150 feet, I just wrap the wire rather than use crimps. While it does weaken the wire to wrap it, work hardens, the wrapped part isn't under tension. I haven't had any problem with breakage to dare.
 
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Great. Thanks for the replies. I put large turnbuckles on the anchor wires for my end posts so I can tighten them up. Is that enough, or do I definitely need wire strainers?
 
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I guess i dont really understand how they work...will I have to remove the staples holding the wire onto the ends posts?
 

Johny99

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I guess i dont really understand how they work...will I have to remove the staples holding the wire onto the ends posts?
I have two different types. One is a roller with a gear for tightening.

The other is a pulley that you slip over an existing wire and turn to wrap the wire around it.

The second one will work with wires you have already run.

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Ok, so in my case I would put the pulley one? Dies it remain on the wire when youre done using it?
 
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Are they necessary on catch wires too, or just for the weight of the fruiting wire? Do you recommend that I install an line strainer on the wires I haven't run yet?
 

Johny99

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I like them on my catch wires as well. They can begin to sag over time as well. They are easy to add when you need them. I've gone to the ratchet type on my guy wires. Just personal preference.
 
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You guys are great. This has been a huge help. Heres a longer, more annoying question...I have four trellises on a hill facing roughly west/southwest. The top trellis (uphill) is a VSP, the second down the hill is top wire cordon, the third a mid wire and the fourth another top wire cordon. I have not completed all of them yet and I am not sure how high to make the first top wire cordon trellis because I want to minimize shading the mid wire cordon vine just below it. The rows are about 5-6ft apart. I think any shading will be minimal and in the early morning, but having never done this before, is there an ideal height I should have the top wire at to maximize production while minimizing shade?? The varieties are America and Baco Noir.
 

Johny99

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Can't help you much there as mine are all VSP and run up/downhill, East-west. I do recall that your top wire for VSP should be no higher than the row spacing to limit shading on North-south rows.
Note that hat is for flat ground. Morning sun is nice on the fruit, so if you get some shading on that side you might leaf plush to open the fruit up.
 
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balatonwine

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Heres a longer, more annoying question...
This is basically a geometry problem. The variables are your latitude (which determines the sun's hight in the sky on different days), your slope, and your distance between rows. With a bit of calculation given all the above (and correcting for time of year because the sun's position will change as will the shading effect -- early spring growth will not shade adjacent rows much) you can get the answer on trellis height.

I actually did this in one vineyard (doing all the math) with a pure VSP.

The other option is to just go out and do some field measurements now (best would have been at the solstice, but you can extrapolate even from data gathered now). Put up some poles of different height, and every hour, from sunrise to sunset, measure the shadow effect.

By the way, I assume your rows are terraced, which is why you are not running the rows parallel to the slope (which would be a much easier value to calculate).
 
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I was going to go with that - keep the top wire of each no higher than the distance the rows are spaced. Thanks.
 
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I have been observing the sun and I think have it figured out. It's just a little frustrating because everything I read gives different recommendations for wire heights. I think I will stick with a max height of 5-6'. Yes, the rows are oriented roughly north to south on a roughly west facing slope. Thank you all so much for the input.
 

jgmillr1

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Some other considerations for top wire cordon height I've found are:
(1) high enough to frost risk to buds in the spring
(2) high enough to handle most of the shoot length when combed downward
(3) your shoulder comfort for pruning and harvesting

Since the clusters will near the top wire anyway, shading isn't typically a concern for top wire cordon systems like it is for VSP. Take care with the proximity to the nearest VSP row.
 

BigH

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On a TWC, do you like to use sets of catch wires to tuck downward shoots or single wires?
I have one wire about 20" below my top wire. The main purpose was early training of the vine in the first couple years. I haven't bothered to take it out. That lower wire sometimes comes in handy for tying down a shoot that doesn't want to behave.

A series of parallel catch wires should not be necessary on TWC, and might reduce airflow and cause fungal problems.

H
 

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