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

Vine growth balance – Internodal distance and Root:Shoot Relationship

As a liana plant the wild vine initially grows in the semi-shadow of a tree.  Here, poor light, a damp climate and little aeration are predominant.  The plant’s aim is to grow faster than the tree and to spread itself in the tree’s crown.  The vine develops a strong leader shoot in this environment.

Vineshelters recreate this "optimum", stress free environment.

The amount of growth experienced varies significantly from situation to situation, but the difference between a vine grown within a shelter and outside is consistently obvious.  Early evidence of shelter performance indicated incremental growth of between x2 and x4 that of a control sample.  Growth of up to 5cm per day has been observed.  A vine can reach a trellis wire, height 1m, in just 3 weeks after planting, and ready for pruning in the first season.

Crops of between 3 – 4.5 tons per acre (7.5 – 11.25 tonnes per ha) have been achieved just 18 months after planting, even after cluster thinning to avoid overcropping.

However, the following factors will limit growth, even if a shelter is used:

  • Poor soil preparation, over compaction of roots;
  • Overwatering is the most common management error seen with vine shelters.  Watering in excess of field capacity reduces soil oxygen.  Overwatering is a common cause of shoot burn or, in less severe cases, reduced growth.