Using Tubex vine shelters to establish and maintain your vineyard gives you flexibility as it protects against herbicide spray and mechanical maintenance
Using Tubex vine shelters to establish and maintain your vineyard gives you flexibility as it protects against herbicide spray and mechanical maintenance

Disposal options vary from country to country. See Recycling Recommendations on our Research and Development pages.


Well established vineyard

Potted spring grafted vines

Accelerated growth

Soil preperation

Ensure flared rim is at the top.

We do NOT recommend insertion of the stake INSIDE the shelter!

Tubex Vine Standard at Gusbourne

Vine trained along the trellis


Herbicide spraying

Manual upkeep of vine plants

How to Use

Vine growing practices vary significantly from country to country and region to region.  We can only give generic advice here that is of specific relevance to the vine-shelter use.

Planting Material

The use of a vineshelter should NOT affect normal procedures for quality control of vine selection. 

Ensure that best quality vines are selected, via discussions with your supplier. 

Take particular care to:

  • Ensure plants are free from viruses, fungal spores and root rots;
  • Ensure that the plants are not damaged and that the graft is sound.
  • Seek professional help if in doubt.

A vine shelter cannot compensate for poorly selected growing materials.

Time of Planting

The vineshelter will result in earlier growth of the vine, and some planters will take advantage of this, sometimes even trying to get 2 uses of the shelter in one growing season.  However, we caution against early planting with vineshelters where there is a risk of late frosts – which can kill new shoots.

A real benefit of vineshelters is that they can facilitate later planting because they;

a) accelerate growth, and
b) extend the growing season.

Site Preparation

Good soil preparation (making soil friable and aerated) is essential in order to see the benefits of vineshelters. 

Soil preparation does not need to focus so much upon weed control as herbicides can be applied more freely after installation of the shelters.

Plant preparation and planting

Removal of buds after planting (“bud rubbing”) is often employed to discourage lateral growth.  Even though lateral growth is minimized by the effects of the shelter, we do not discourage the removal of 1 or 2 buds below the apical bud.

Other aspects of planting (e.g. planting depth) are not affected by the use of a vineshelter.

Method of Installation

Installation of Tubex vineshelters should be quick and simple. We anticipate substantial labour cost savings when compared to some products that require some form of construction (origami) on site.

Basic Tubex vineshelter installation instructions:

  1. Ensure that the shelter is the correct way up – with the flared rim at the top. The flared rim reduces any risk of abrasion as the stem emerges (although this is not usually a serious problem for shelters with no flared rim).
  2. It is recommended that the bottom of the shelter is airtight.  This ensures the creation of the microclimate, and prevents the development of wind (bringing dirt) within the shelter which can lead to desiccation of the vine leaves.
    Of particular importance is the retention of water and humidity within the shelter, which is achieved by reducing air movement around the plant.
  3. Ensure that the shelter is appropriately secured (see below).

Various methods are used for giving a shelter structural support, including:

  1. Free standing, by pushing the shelter into the ground, or by mounding soil up around the shelter (or both). The friability of the soil will affect the effectiveness of this approach. Windy or exposed sites may perform better with a more substansial fixing mechanism. 
  2. Attachment to a cane, wooden or metal stake/rod.  This can be achieved by:
    a) Insertion of the support through a pre-manufactured slit/hole in the shelter,
    b) Attachment outside the shelter, via a pre-inserted tie, or via some other form of attachment (sometimes a Tubex Ancorfix is used),
    c) Loose insertion of the stake/cane/rod within the shelter,  We do not like this method, particularly with stakes, as it reduces the plant growing area within the shelter.
  3. Attachment to a pre-erected trellis wire, using various attachment mechanisms.

Pruning and Training to the Wire

Pruning within the shelter should NOT be required, but if it is felt necessary it can be achieved by lifting (if solid) or opening (if openable) the shelter.  If the vine has already been attached to the trellis wire it must be unattached when lifting a solid shelter.

Different openable shelters have differing levels of ease of use.  Zip products open well but become weak if opened too often.  Wraps need to be opened carefully to ensure that the spine of the product is not damaged.  Polyethylene products, such as the Tubex Clipper, are easy to open in the middle.

When reattaching the shelter, ensure that an appropriate seal is created at the bottom, either by inserting the shelter below soil level, or mounding soil on the outside of the shelter.

Training to the wire should be unaffected by the use of a shelter.  Remember that no training from the ground to trellis wire height is required – that function is fulfilled by the shelter.

Weed Control

Weed control measures vary significantly including basic manual control, mechanised control and herbicide spraying, or a combination of these.

Herbicide spraying measures vary such that the recommended height of the shelter can range from 0.4m to 0.6m when considering purely weed control effectiveness.  The height of the spray atomiser will dictate.  Most of our customers find that use a 0.4m shelter find that it is sufficient, but we would recommend at least 0.5m in height for more security.

Manual control of weeds that might grow within the shelter can be achieved easily by lifting the shelter and removing the weeds.  This is obviously more difficult if the shelter has been buried deeply or mounded, and the soil has become hard.  If this situation is likely a better shelter would be one that is secured in place by a stake, with releasable attachments (ties), or by attachment to the trellis wire.

Mechanical weed control is sometimes used and the shelter (if robust) provides good protection for the vine against machinery that can be indiscriminate.


The shelter helps to retain more water in the air and soil around the vine, so irrigation methods can be modified (reduced) accordingly. 

The extent of this obviously depends upon local conditions and requires monitoring.  Many growers combine the use of shelters with a mulch, but again, the effectiveness of this depends upon local conditions and requirements.


When the vine emerges from the shelter it will need to acclimatize to its new conditions.  It is common for the leaves within the shelter to drop after emergence.  For this reason it is important NOT to remove the shelter until there are at least 4 fully expanded leaves outside the shelter.  Be careful not to damage the top leaves when removing the shelter.

Some users will keep a shelter on for more than one season.  This depends upon the local conditions and the level of growth of the vine.  However, if there is a risk of late frosts in the 2nd season we recommend that the shelter is removed after the first season.

If shelters are going to be reused, ensure that any leaves or other debris are cleaned from the inside of the shelter before reuse.