How to tie grapevines

Check out our videos and then prepare to tie grapevines to trellises this spring.

A new video series explains efficient ways for tying vines to trellises. All photos by Tom Zabadal, MSU

A new video series explains efficient ways for tying vines to trellises. All photos by Tom Zabadal, MSU

The days are getting longer. Soon winter will melt away and vineyard activity will shift into high gear. There’s so much to be done like pruning, of course, but then there’s also brush pulling, brush chopping, trellis repairs, weed spraying, maybe fertilizing and possibly putting in replants in missing vine spaces.

There’s another spring vineyard chore, however. Although it isn’t talked about much, every grape grower does some of the vineyard task called tying. Tying is how parts of the vine get attached to the trellis. There are numerous approaches to this vineyard task and some are more efficient than others. In my experience, the task of tying grapevines is often a matter of how it is done in the “neighborhood.” If you’re a grape grower, chances are you tie your vines much like your grape-growing neighbors do.

I am a believer in the philosophy that says, “If a person is happy with how they are doing something, then that’s the right approach for them.” How can one improve on happiness? For those who have no strategy for tying grapevines or might want to consider alternatives to this task, we’ve prepared a series of YouTube videos that review and give instruction on this topic linked at Michigan State University’s Growing Grapes for Juice and Wine website in the Viticulture section:

Tying vines Tying vines Tying vines

Early spring is a great time to consider the topic of grapevine tying because there’s time to acquire tying materials and skills before the spring rush of vineyard activity begins. Good luck getting all the spring vineyard chores done!

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