What You Need To Know When Buying T Posts and Fencing

deer fence sonoma countySome say that for a vineyard owner the most important task, more than tasting the vine and keeping the quality up to mark, is to handle the fencing that runs in proximity of the vineyard property.

Part of installing the T posts and the fencing is going through the process of buying everything as well.  Most vineyard owners go to the market without fully knowing what a T post is and what functions you should focus on when choosing one. Whether you have to fence your experimental yard or acres of vineyard, this can also happen when you are shopping online as well.

Let’s start with the fencing options. Most of the vineyard owners buy low quality fencing. They are not aware whether it is the steel or wood fencing types that make the best fence. This wastes the owner’s money and can lead to premature repairs. Part of purchasing the Vineyard fences is that you know the size of land that you are going to surround.

T Posts

Let’s talk about what T posts really are. Vineyard T posts are specifically those which are considered most efficient posts for a vineyard, even though there are tons of other types of posts available. T posts are posts that can be planted vertically and are placed in such a way that there is equal distance between them. The number of posts you will need depends on the length of the vineyard that you have to work with. If you are shopping for T posts and other vineyard supplies for the first time then you might want to stick to steel or wood T posts. They have a longer life. You can also compare prices before setting on the final supplies for your vineyard. You might need T posts for making trellises or supporting grapevine.

Vineyard Fencing

Next comes the vineyard fencing, in vineyards many people believe that fencing is meant for decoration purposes. Paying attention to the different types of fences and the particular purpose they offer is just as important as the different types of fences are meant for keeping the vineyard safe from animals such as deer. When you are purchasing fences the first thing that you need to look into is what they are made of, we are talking about the style and shape of the fence. In the same way the shape and style of the fencing itself, matters a lot too.

You can buy all the tools and supplies such as T posts and fences from Cameron&Cameron. Check their online catalogue for the best quality products in online retail.

How To Make a Trellis From A “T Post”

t post sonoma county

T post trellis is best for setting a single trellis in a house or a small home garden. This is what they are majorly popular for among consumers. However the same can also be said for buying fences that will support acres of grapevines. The best thing about T posts is that they can be simply inserted in to the ground. All you need is a post hole driver – it resembles a pipe except with a closed end. Depending on what you want to use the trellis for you can use a single strand of wire for the trellis or use a couple of them to give more space for training the grapevines.

  • The first step is that you push in wooden stakes at each end of the area where your T posts will be put up (not at each point where you will drive the t posts). Now you need to attach a string to each of the wooden stakes creating a frame of the entire vineyard area that will be covered.
  • The second step is to mark the place every 20 feet or so. You can use spray paint or any other material to mark where the T post will go.
  • It is time that you install the T posts over these markers.The right way to install T posts is that you need to set the T posts into the ground up until the point when the ground anchor plate is no longer visible and is stuck firmly in the ground.
  • Now you need to insert earth anchors into the dirt at approximately 45 degree angle from the outside of the end posts.
  • The next step is to pull a strand of 12 ½ gauge high tensile wire across the row. You need to hold the wire around 2 to 4 inches towards the posts. The end of the wires will then have to be wound around the hooked ends of the earth augers so that the wire is steady.
  • You will need a wire tensioning device now. Use this to match the wire to 250 pounds. You can fit the device on the wire and then pump or twist the tensioner until you reach the desired 250 pounds. If you want to avoid the guess work you should get a wire tensioner with a built in gauge.
  • Now attach the wire to the T posts with T post wire clips starting from one end of the fence. Push a wire clip in from the V shaped side so the hooks face the open side of the posts.
  • Remember to insert wire clips to stick the wire to all the other T posts.

Check out Cameron & Cameron Inc. to get the best ranch and vineyard supplies.

Vineyard Harvest For Newbies

Sonoma County Harvest 2014When we talk about how one can know whether their vineyard grapes are ready for harvest, we usually end up with one answer- there is no one sure indicator that would tell you when to pick the grapes. You could have a training yard for your small vineyard or acres of land flourishing with vineyard grapes. Following are the top tips when it comes to knowing the right time to harvest.

Do You Know The Sweetness Level?

Picking Vineyard grapes differs slightly then the way you would want your table grapes to be like. Vineyard grapes are always better than your regular grapes. This is because of the sucrose present in the grapes that you measure through the value of Brix. There are many methods and tools that can help you measure Brix. It is the sweetness level of grapes that determines the alcohol level.

Hydrometer is the most tradition and popular tool that helps you measure Brix. Part of managing an entire vineyard is that you also take care of the record of Brix each week or each mounts up to. Therefore, it is imperative that you keep up the practice of checking the sweetness level at these intervals. Also remember that the Brix won’t keep on getting better as time goes by, in unfortunate circumstances rain leads to the grapes swelling and basically being ruined due to the misbalancing of sweetness and acidity that is caused.

Ripe Grapes

However only the sweetness level and ultimately the Brix do not determine whether the grape is ready to be picked or not. The Grape needs to be physically ripe too. We are talking seeds, skin and stems. A ripe vineyard grape is one where the color changes from your ordinary grape green to yellowish and the seeds will taste relatively less bitter. This aspect of ripeness is what makes the resulting wine tannin taste sweeter. Tannin is supposed to affect a wine’s aftertaste or what is commonly referred to as the wine’s finish.

Try Your Hand At It

If this is your first time tending to a vineyard and you want to avoid any beginner’s blunders that you are afraid of then you might want to get a taste of the experience. You can always visit a vineyard harvest. There are tons of wineries that are understaffed during the time of their vineyard harvest. Hand harvesting is one of the many things that you will experience doing if you volunteer and as a bonus you can also see or ask questions on all that you are concerned about.

In order to make sure that you are managing the vineyard right you need to be able to equip your land with the right vineyard supplies and equipment. One of the quality places you can look up and buy the best ranch and vineyard supplies at Cameron & Cameron Inc.

Do You Know Your Fence Types?

Ranch Fence Sonoma

Ranch and vineyard fencing may remind us of those old dark tinted movies with the protagonist riding on a horse around the property, only stopping at the fence to catch up with either the sheriff serving bad news or his sweetheart from outside.

Coming back to the real world, fences are used for much more practical purposes. Since they serve several different functions they also happen to come in different designs and structures.

Wood Rail Horse Fence

A wood rail horse fence is the most conventional sort of ranch fence. This is the type that has only one railing running in between them and has a short post all through it. However the main drawback that ranch owners faced with this fence were loose nails. Plus spooked horses could run over and break the fence boards very easily.

Pipe Fence

Pipe Fence is yet the most popular fence there is. It includes a piece of metal pipe that is welded firmly into the posts. You can see typically three nails inserted in a line on them. The best part about getting this fence is that it requires very little upkeep and maintenance. The only drawback is that it can prove to be relatively expensive to install.

Electric Wire

The Electric Wire Fence is also commonly referred to as Hot Wire fencing and is only used as a temporary fence. Most ranch owners prefer this because it requires lesser hassle to put up and it is also an inexpensive investment. One of the major problems with the electric wire fence is that it is not durable. Most ranch owners report that the wires break off and fall down from time to time.

PVC Fence

The PVC fence, also known as the Vinyl fence has many advantages. It is made with incredibly visible material and looks incredibly appealing. Moreover it comes in various colors and sizes as well unlike the rest of the fences. The drawbacks are that PVC rails are prone to having their posts pop out when they are pushed on by animals.

Wire Mesh

The Wire mesh fence has more than a couple of varieties. Owners use this because this is by far the easiest fence type to install. It is also preferred because quite conveniently it does not incur much damage if animals like ranch horses were to run into it. The mesh chosen for ranches are typically ones whose holes are smaller than a typical colt’s hove size.

Some fences serve as markers outlining land and property while others are present to protect the animals and livestock. When choosing what fence you want to put up it is essential that you evaluate which option best suits your needs specifically. Check out Cameron & Cameron Inc. for the best ranch and vineyard supplies.

Top Safety Tips For The Vineyard Harvest

Harvest 2014 Cutting GrapesPicking grapes may seem as easy as 123, unfortunately there are some essential picker protocols that should be followed in order to ensure a safe, not to mention fun working environment. As a vineyard manger you should first announce these rules to the entire picking team.

  • The first safety rule is about the way you use cutting utensils. If you are picking when it is dark out then do not clip any where you feel something but you cannot see what you are cutting. Because most probably it will be your finger. No matter how sure you are if you love your fingers it is not worth risking.
  • If any of the pickers need a band aid tell them to let you know immediately.
  • As a vineyard manager it is your job to make sure that the pickers are doing their job right. This can be ensured for instance if you show them the right condition of the fruit that should be picked. You don’t want any green berries picked. Your pickers will probably be people who are first timers at this and volunteered for some vineyard education. Tel them the difference between what they should avoid picking and the ones that are ready to be harvested.
  • There are instances when pickers start to overload their buckets with fruit. Before you start working tell all your pickers where to carry the bucket and leave the fruit once it is loaded. This will make both your and the volunteers life much easier.
  • Notice how you tend to pick from the way others do it. If the berries drop from the clusters than you are yanking too hard. In fact do not yank at all.
  • A handy tip is if you push and pull on the canes to get a better angle at cutting out the fruit in bunches.
  • When picking clusters remember that you should throw the bad parts off from the clusters then and there and bucket the good ones.
  • Never place your snips or anything else that is not supposed to make wine in the bucket, even if you think you are doing it for just a moment do not do it because everything in the bucket goes in to an expensive piece of machinery and a distracted picker may forget to retrieve these things from eth basket.
  • Watch out for bees at the back of clusters as they usually are present there if you harvest in the early morning.
  • In the similar way make sure you tell your pickers that it is not appropriate to push down on the clusters that they have harvested in the basket/ bucket to make more room. The process is meant for the crusher machine which only accepts what fruit you present to it in fine condition.
  • Part of having a successful harvest is that you have the right equipment at hand. Start by looking at Cameron & Cameron for the best and reliable Vineyard supplies.