|RCA trellis with young untrained canes at Piedmont Research Station, 2011.|
This year we are determining if row orientation will impact blackberry fruit quality. Row are orientated N-S and E-W. The set in the foreground is running E-W while the second set of trellises in the background of this image runs N-S. We will be collecting yield data and post harvest attributes. We think that this type of trellis may improve fruit quality and yield.
This trellis system also has potential to enable growers to cover the plants in the winter or during spring frosts like the one we had this year. The trellis arms rotate, so the canes can be layed down and row covers could be placed over the trellis to protect the plants, similar to what is done in strawberries. Here is a picture of a field with the RCA in Ohio in the summer and winter.
The trellis was donated by Trellis Growing Systems (http://trellisgrowingsystems.com/).