PULPWRAP & VITICULTURE
The versatile plant sleeve
Pulpwrap was tested as a vine guard for the young vines of “Ligas Winery” vineyard, with the aim of exploring the product’s suitability as a plant protector.
The test was carried out by the wine maker – wine grower Jason Ligas, on young vines with excellent results. For the purpose of the test, the Pulpwrap sheet was formed into a cylindrical guard, which could be easily placed around these young vines. Since the selected vineyard is exposed to adverse weather conditions (wind, rain, sun) to keep the grow tube in place few centimeters of the product were buried in the soil and concrete rods were used for further support. To ensure the endurance of the Pulpwrap to the strong north winds blowing in the area, special care was taken during installation so that the “seam” (the interlocking area of the sheet) faced south.
Multiple benefits were identified from the above test:
- Its usage facilitates the early growth of the young vines, thus increasing their survival rate, all while creating a stronger leader with fewer side shoots for reduced training and labor costs.
- Its installation allows the creation of a microclimate highly beneficial to the plant. It successfully shelters the young vines from the harsh morning and afternoon summer sun, allowing only the proper amount of light to reach them, so that they don’t dehydrate or burn. Simultaneously, the durable barrier shelters the vines from blasting strong winds, thus limiting weather damage.
- Contrary to similar corresponding plastic solutions that trap moisture, the porous surface of Pulpwrap ensures proper ventilation and a gentle exchange of humidity and temperature, to facilitate the breathing function of the young vines and to limit the growth of pathogenic microorganisms.
- Pulpwrap protects the young leaves and the tender fruit of the young vine against animal browsing. Effective against smaller (eg rabbits, badgers, hares) and larger animals (eg wild boars, deer, cows, dogs). Effective against potentially harmful maintenance operations as well.
- Its easy opening and closing design facilitates the inspection and the pruning, all while providing access to shoots for hand work during the growing season.
- Vineyards usually serve young vines for the first 3 years after planting. After this period of time, the vine growers are called to remove them. This removal is a time consuming process. However this might not be necessary in the case of Pulpwrap, a molded fiber product made from a naturally biodegradable material.
- Its compact packaging drastically reduces the volume to be transported thus reducing handling costs and minimizing field trips. Especially important in those cases where the vines are located in inaccessible areas and minimization of movement is desirable. Its easy cone interlocking design gives the possibility of fast on-site assembly of the plant guard. The available space between the cones allows the easy attachment to bamboo or pencil rod.
- The Pulpwrap sheet’s dimensions (600*400*23,5mm), allow the creation of a plant protector with a height of 60cm or 40cm, respectively. Shorter tubes protect against maintenance and herbicide operations, while taller tubes prevent mammal damage as well.
- Pulpwrap’s flexibility in selecting the desirable diameter, allows the creation of a shape that permits full leaf expansion and allows light to reach the vines for unobstructed photosynthesis.
- Molded fiber is a durable material, allowing the Pulpwrap to be used as a sturdy vine guard for all types of vines and also for very young trees. Its longevity is dependent on site and weather conditions. Tested for one season so far in vineyards exposed to the harsh north wind and still going strong.
With the successful completion of the first phase of the test, the wine maker – wine grower Iason Ligas reports the following:
“Pulpwrap is an excellent product made from 100% recovered paper that successfully withstood the tests in the harsh weather conditions of our mountainous fields of the Pella region. An environmentally friendly and economical solution for the protection of our young vines and undoubtedly a product that we will see used more and more in the future. A practical choice even for larger vineyards. A suitable solution for young nursery plants (eg tomatoes, peppers) needing protection in the initial vulnerable stages of planting.”