Vineyard netting is an essential component in modern viticulture, providing protection against birds, insects, and other potential hazards that can affect the yield and quality of the grape harvest. The installation of vineyard netting is a critical process that can be done in various ways, each with its own set of advantages and considerations. In this blog, we will explore the two prevalent methods of installing vineyard netting: drape netting and side netting installations.
2 Vineyard Netting Installation Methods
Vineyard Drape Netting Installation
Drape netting can be installed over single or multiple rows and typically requires a netting applicator for ease of deployment. However, manual installation is possible but more labor-intensive.
Installation steps include:
a) Prepare the net by mounting the rolled net onto the netting applicator.
b) Begin at one end of the row, and as the machine moves, drape the net over the grapevines from above.
c) Workers should follow the machine, adjusting the net to hang properly over the sides of the vines, ensuring full coverage.
d) After covering one row, the net can be cut at the end before starting a new row, or it can be left uncut if continuing to the next row, with cutting and separation done after all rows are covered.
e) For multi-row drape netting, once all nets are in place, connect them using clips or ties to form a large, unified protective barrier.
Vineyard Side Netting Installation
Side netting is a common method that saves on netting material and can be manually installed without machinery. It also allows for easy folding and securing of the net post-harvest.
Installation steps include:
a) Take the prepared net, typically 3 feet wide, and start securing it at the beginning of a row, where support structures and wires are already in place.
b) Use C-clips to secure the top edge of the net to the upper wires, and similarly secure the bottom. Place a clip every meter to ensure the net is firmly attached.
c) Proceed to fix the side netting along the row, wrapping the net around the end posts to continue securing the other side.
d) With this, the installation is complete.
Removal of Vineyard Netting
The removal of drape netting is essentially the reverse process of installation. A netting applicator can be used to roll up the net while a worker assists by clearing the vines to prevent damage to the nets and vines.
Side netting does not necessarily need to be completely removed. Specialized net gathering and securing accessories allow the net to be folded and hung over or under the wires, facilitating easy storage without the need for additional space.
Drape Netting Installation Vs. Side Netting Installation
Choosing the right installation method for vineyard netting involves a careful assessment of each technique’s strengths and limitations. Drape netting, often requiring the assistance of large machinery, is directly draped over the grapevines with secure fastening at both ends. This method provides extensive coverage and is excellent for vineyards that face a high risk of aerial predation or environmental hazards. The use of machinery, while efficient for large-scale operations, does necessitate a significant capital investment and sufficient operational space between rows to maneuver.
In contrast, side netting installation is a more manual process that does not typically require machinery, making it accessible for vineyards with narrower row spacing or limited access to heavy equipment. The installation of numerous secure hooks ensures that the netting remains firmly in place, offering a robust defense against pests that might attempt to infiltrate at the vine’s mid-level. This method also conserves netting material, as it is applied only to the sides of the rows, thereby reducing overall costs. However, the labor-intensive nature of installing many hooks can increase the time spent on setup.
Both methods have their particular applications and choosing between them will depend on the vineyard’s specific conditions. Drape netting is suited for broad protection and ease of deployment with the right equipment, while side netting is ideal for cost-effectiveness and precise placement. Vineyard managers must balance the need for protection with practical considerations such as budget, labor availability, and the topography of their land to determine the most suitable netting installation method for their vineyard.
|Feature comparison||Drape netting||Side netting|
|Usage of Netting||More||Less|
|Netting Applicator||Required||Not Required|
|Pressure on the vines||More||Less|
|Storage||Storage space needs to be prepared||No extra storage space is required|
Additional Common Issues During Vineyard Netting Installation
What is the best way to store vineyard netting off-season?
A: Clean and dry netting thoroughly before storing flat or on a spool in a cool, dry place, shielded from UV light to prevent degradation and extend the net’s life.
What is the recommended method for repairing tears in vineyard netting to ensure continued protection?
A: For minor tears, use net repair tape or twine specifically designed for agricultural netting. For larger damages, patch with a piece of netting, securing it well beyond the tear’s edges to maintain the integrity of the barrier.
To sum up, successful vineyard netting installation is achievable with the right approach. It’s crucial to tailor the process to your vineyard’s needs and invest in quality materials.
We urge vineyard operators to prioritize durable netting and adopt best practices for installation and upkeep. Proper care ensures your netting serves you well into the future.
For expert guidance on netting selection and maintenance, consider consulting with specialists.
Act now to protect your harvest efficiently.