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Clean Trellis Wires

Last year's tendrils on trellis wires should be cleaned off of the wire. They make a great host site for mildew and blackrot spores which will be ready to germinate as soon as conditions permit. The tendrils on the upper wires may not have hardened-off until after you finished spraying, so whatever is on them was not threatened by pesticide and is in a perfect position to be washed onto new annual growth.

Also, old, tough tendrils love to grab bird net in a seemingly inextricable manner, thus adding to the headaches involved in net removal.

We have pulled tendrils off with pliers. If you want a wire that is completely clean, the best thing we have found to cut them off is a large pliers-type toenail clipper. The top, slightly curved surface of this tool fits flat against the trellis wire and may be used to clip away even the smallest piece of tendril. If you use this method, wear eye protection (the pieces really fly). Even with your eyes protected an occasional piece hitting your face on a cold day is guaranteed to keep you awake.

Finally, if you use vinyl tape to hold canes such as the Maxtapener type, clean it off as well. Left to its own devices, last years tape ends up in soil and grass where the sun can't break it down.


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