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7 November 2023

11 frequently asked questions about nets in viticulture

11 frequently asked questions about nets in viticulture

Due to changes in climate, weather extremes are becoming more frequent. Hailstorms are becoming more extreme. Nets in viticulture are therefore becoming increasingly natural anno 2023. Hail, birds and insects also know their way into the vineyard! Protecting grapevines is becoming increasingly important. But as a vigneron, what do you want to know before you buy nets? Find out the answers to 11 frequently asked questions in this blog.

PS At the bottom of this blog 2 tips for your vineyard.

1.What is the Jacket Vineyard System with hail net?

The Jacket Vineyard System was designed in Austria. The system is designed to protect grapevines from hail. With a post and anchor at the beginning and end of the row of vines. For long row lengths, there will also be posts every few metres in the row.  From the anchors, a wire runs across the row. The hail net is mounted on this wire with special clips. Hail nets are placed on both sides of the row of vines. At the bottom, the nets are attached to each other with clips.

PS Click here for more information.

Vineyard hailnets

2.What types of grape nets are there?

There are different types of grape nets. The most common nets used with grapes are Hail net and Insect net. You can choose from different colours of net. The most common colours with hail netting are crystal and black. For insect nets, they are white and black. The colour of the net depends on the variety and light conditions in the vineyard.

3.What colour and type of net should I choose for my grape variety?

The choice is not a one-size-fits-all. The colour and type of net is an informed decision. That decision depends on several factors. I list below what you should consider. Because the colour and type of net affects the quality of your grapes and protection.

3a. What mesh grape net?

Hail net with a mesh size of 2.8 mm x 8.7 mm protects grapes from hail. Do you also want to protect your grapes from insects? Insect netting with a mesh size smaller than 1 mm will do the trick. With a smaller mesh size, you do get higher humidity under the nets.

3b. What shade percentage per type of grape net?

Lighter nets create a warmer microclimate. On average, the temperature under lighter nets is 2°C higher than darker nets. So lighter nets provide lower humidity. Below is the shade percentage for each type of net.

Type net

Shade percentage

Kristal hail net 2,8 mm x 8,7 mm

8%

Zwart hail net 2,8 mm x 8,7 mm

18%

Wit insect net 40 mesh

20%

Zwart insectnet 40 mesh

50%

Crystal hail net is the most common hail net in northern Europe. Does your variety need less sunlight? Then choose black hail netting. Only choose insect netting if you need to protect your grapes from insect netting.

4.Do grape nets also protect against birds?

Grape nets protect vines from birds in addition to hail. This only applies when the nets are closed at the top and bottom with clips. There are also insect nets with Velcro at the top and bottom. With Velcro, no clips are needed. The disadvantage to insect nets with Velcro is their low availability and high price.

5.How many length metres of grape net do I need?

You can easily calculate for yourself how many length metres of grape net you need. Measure how long your row of grapevines is. Add 4 metres and do the result times 2. For example you measure a row of 100 metres. 104 m x 2 = 208 m net total. Then you have calculated the nets for both sides of the row.

6.What width grape net do I need?

The grape net should at least cover the entire grape zone. Do you still have young vines? Then our advice is to order wider nets right away. The most popular widths of hail nets are 1.0m and 1.25m wide.

7.Which clips can I use to attach grape nets?

To attach the hail net to the wire at the top: Net cam clip Wiesel. To attach the hail net to each other at the bottom: Plaket Wiesel model 13. Both clips have proven themselves in fruit cultivation. There, the net cam clip and plaket Wiesel are widely used in hail net systems.

8.Are grape nets easy to place in the vineyard?

Yes, grape nets are easy to place in the vineyard. The supplier can also place the nets. Only in practice, grape nets are often placed by the vintner himself.

9.Are grape nets easy to take off again at the end of the season?

The answer to this is Yes and No. It is possible to remove grape nets from the orchard again. Some vintners want to do this when the season is over. This is to allow easier mechanical pruning. And it is expected to extend the life of the nets.

Did you know that with a Winterfix clip you don't have to remove the nets? You can then easily roll up the nets when needed. With a Winterfix, the net is then attached to the wire when rolled up.

Did you know that nets cause shoots to grow upwards? This reduces the wind's impact on crop protection work. Pruning over the nets is no problem. You can even work with a pneumatic defoliator.

10.What does the Jacket Vineyard System with hail net cost?

The cost of the Jacket Vineyard system depends on whether posts are needed. And the larger the area, the more favourable it is in terms of price. So the longer the rows, the more advantageous. Below is a guide price list.

Type

Guide price per 100 linear metres

With (concrete) posts

€ 400,-

Without posts

€ 150,-

*Prices without installation.

11.What is the delivery time of the Jacket Vineyard System?

The average delivery time of a complete Jacket Vineyard System is 6-8 weeks. When materials are in stock at the supplier, the delivery time is 1 week on average.

In conclusion

In this blog, I have answered 11 questions about nets in viticulture. I hope this knowledge bears fruit for your vineyard. Is your question not among them? Ask it below! And as promised, 2 more tips below.

#TIP 1. Don't want to use steel wire to prevent vine cancer in your vineyard? Plastic Bayco wire has been proven to cause 50-75% fewer cancer infections. Read more here.

#TIP 2. A hedge or windbreak system prevents wind damage in the vineyard.

Resource

Internal documentations and a survey of nets in viticulture were used to write this blog. Read the original research here (DU). Read the translated research here (NL).

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