Aluminum Lattice for Grape Growers
Aluminum lattice for grape growers, as parallel to a rotary phase converter for a prospero destemmer, or insurance for a toter truck driver. These are things that you do not want to buy, but part of the grape growing and processing business even a small-time winery needs to learn about and invest in.
Every grower whether large or small wants to till, fertilizer, plant, water, pick, destem, crush, bottle, and of course, sample.
In between each of these steps are dozens of processes and varieties of methods to getting the job done.
In preparing a trellis there are several options available as a backyard grape grower to consider as you train the vines to follow a growth path.
In this article, we at Permalatt™ would like to recommend a idea that is long lasting, has a practical trellis design and installation parameters for the backyard grape grower. Heads up, some of this information will require you to go to link of other articles we or others have previously written.
But first let us consider the question why you need a trellis.
Simplifying Grape Harvesting
The very nature of how grapes grow makes harvesting difficult.
“Wild grapes grow high, clinging to everything around them, wrapping their thin tendrils and narrow, curling branches around other trees for support.” (Sources: Wild Grapes • Insteading)
As a grape grower the last thing you want to do is climb a tall tree to pick grapes. It is a much wiser idea to control the direction and height at which these long vines grow in an effort to maximize their performance and make it for you harvest the fruit.
The goal is to maximize the performance of a grapevine. Having too much fruit without having enough energy-producing leaves will result in an imbalance. This imbalance creates an environment in which the grapes cannot fully ripen, and the vine is stressed by trying to provide all the grapes with sufficient energy, even though it cannot. A trellis provides a grape grower with a device with which to allocate some of the energy to the fruit instead of retaining sufficient energy for overwintering and for use during the following spring. This trellis is typically made of wood, but, naturally as a manufacturer of aluminum and vinyl lattice, we are going to share why Permalatt recommends a different solution.
Building an open canopy
A configure with an open canopy facilitates fruit ripening by sun exposure, drying of the grapes and leaves quickly after a rain or dew event, and allows good pesticide coverage on the fruit and leaves opposed to just spraying the outside of the canopy.
Retaining too many buds results in over cropping and an excessively thick canopy that blocks the sun and wind. Over cropping will impair the fruit development and stress out the vines. The experts have determined that 4- 7 buds per linear foot of canopy is a good approximation to use when pruning to create a crop load and canopy that are in balance.
In a paper titled “Shoot density and Canopy Management for Hybrids,” Tim Martinson (Senior Extension Associate) and Justine Vanden Heuvel (Assistant Professor) from Cornell University wrote: “Aim for 4-7 shoots per linear foot of canopy (if canopy is vertically or horizontally divided, that’s 4-7 shoots for each portion of a divided canopy) and remove secondary buds where both primaries and secondaries have pushed. The result will be a more open canopy, less leaf layers, better fruit exposure – and hopefully more intense flavors and fewer ‘unripe’ flavors in your wines.” This same paper cites the optimal vinifera shoot density as 4–6 shoots per foot. You can read the paper at: http://www.fruit.cornell.edu/grape/pdfs/Canopy%20Management%20for%20Hybrids%20-2007.pdf
Grape Arbors Using Lattice
Several years ago, prior to manufacturing aluminum lattice, we published a blog post regarding grape arbors. If you are interested in reading it here is the link:
Grape Arbor Solutions with Vinyl Lattice (permalatt.com)
The main reasons we promote Durashell vinyl lattice, or aluminum lattice is that they provide more permanent installation solution. Grape vines are strong and will twist and aid in the weakening of wooden lattice. In addition, in colder climates traditional vinyl lattice gets brittle over winter and breaks over time.
Permalatt products are as our company name suggests “Permanent Lattice” solutions for any application of lattice. While the upfront cost of our lattice many appear more expensive than traditional solutions for building a trellis, the fact that you only need to buy it once, have zero repairs needs when installed properly, and never have to paint it means long-term savings in dollars and time.
Plus, aluminum lattice for grape growers looks awesome.
If you would like to learn more about our aluminum or vinyl lattices products for your vineyards no matter how small or if you are Properos Winery, please do not hesitate to contact us. You may also request a sample of our lattice products anytime.
Glad luck grape grow, we look forward to hearing from you.