[NAFEX] Trellising Triple Crown
don.yellman at webformation.com
Wed Nov 21 14:14:35 EST 2007
It does sound as if your trellis is on the small side for growing TC, and the plants somewhat too close. But, the perfect being the enemy of the good, I certainly wouldn't give up on your current planting. It can still be highly productive.
There is no specific number of canes that should be allowed to grow from a single root system, since it depends on how crowded they are, which, in turn, depends to a large extent on how closely they are planted. I usually end up with two to four. When they are really crowded, remove canes entirely at the base, leaving the thickest canes because they will be the most productive. Most of the berry production on these trailing thornless occurs on the top half of the trellis, which argues for making the trellis taller, not shorter, thus increasing the prime fruiting area. Very tall persons can utilize even taller trellises.
Yes, the canes of Triple Crown grow vigorously upward. Pinching off the ends of the main canes when they start to become too long stimulates them to grow laterals. It is by no means to late to thin your canes, and I recommend that you do so. Start by untying your bundles to see what you really have there. Most of those bundles should probably be severely thinned. Whether they have fruiting buds or not is not the important thing. They will not fruit properly when crowded. Additional laterals will grow in on your floricanes next spring before they begin to blossom.
You don't leave canes on "each wire" as such, since the canes are vertical (or nearly so) and the wires horizontal. You may end up tying a very heavy cane to more than one wire, although it is not usually necessary. Just make certain that the canes you leave and tie to the wires are spread a decent distance apart so they can produce fruiting laterals without being on top of one another.
Dr. Heinrich's double trellis system may have worked well for him, but for most of us just building one good strong trellis is enough of a challenge. My trellises are along a fence, and I have little difficulty in identifying and removing the spent floricanes when that time arrives. Sometimes it takes more than one cut with the pruner.
Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA
More information about the nafex