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Saturday, June 8, 2013


A couple of years ago the old vineyard trellising was feeling its age. Because of the shallow soil metal end strainers were the only viable solution unfortunately the cost was going to be between $500 and $1000 to buy enough galvanised steel pipe to complete the project. The idea was shelved until we stumbled across a large quantity of short off cuts at the local garbage dump shop. At the cost of $1 each we took the lot. By the time the entire vineyard was re-trellised a great deal of skill was acquired welding pipe together to achieve a suitable length. In the end not only was the trellising completed but there were enough off-cuts to complete other fencing as well as a few odd jobs and all that for $60.

The rag tag vineyard which originally had patchy trellis put in as a temporary measure to see if grapes would survive now has a pleasant symmetry about it. The wire stays on the slanted strainers were use to avoid having to put in diagonal pipe stays. The strainers are filled with cement as they would otherwise bend as the wires were tensioned. Each strainer is concreted to bedrock and each wire stay is attached to a piece of pipe also concreted to bedrock. To achieve the same angle we built a portable wooden jig to support the strainer until the concrete had set, Small nuts are welded to the strainer to stop the wires from slipping.

Each of the uprights in the row has a netting spreader installed to keep the netting away from the fruit as the birds sit on the net and try to reach the fruit.

Once the trellising was completed a new drip irrigation system was installed to increase the water capacity. Most recently the weed mat was removed and guards installed around each vine. The weed mat had helped reduce the weed competition while the vines gained some maturity but was now too overgrown.

The end result has been positive for the fruit. Yields have increased and there is less disease as a result of the additional height and the better netting.

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