Growing Grapes Article 3 - Constructing a Grape Trellis
One of the most important aspects of grape growing and one that tends to get overlooked due to inexperience is the proper construction of a grape trellis. Every backyard grapevine farm should have several trelli to support their grapevine plants. As a matter of fact, I have always constructed my own trellis when planting grape plants and I have written this article today to explain to you not only the important of building a grape trellis but the steps it takes to get it built.
Constructing a grape trellis is not as difficult as one may think. It is almost quite similar to building a farm fence. Basically, a grape trellis consists of one, two or three tightly stretched wires adjusted and bound to steadily set posts. It must be ample enough to hold the weight of the grapevines plus a heavy crop during high winds. I should also mention that it is during the first growing season that one should build a grape trellis. I would say the first growing season is perhaps the best time to get it done.
Next, we must discuss end posts which serve as anchor points as well as supporting the wires. They are typically about 8 feet long with a 4 inch diameter. Go ahead and place the end posts about 2 feet deep in the earth and brace them. There are several ways that you can brace the posts. One of the most common ways from my experience is to set an extra post a couple of feet away from the main post. Using another post or even a heavy piece of wood makes a good brace between the two end posts.
Set the line posts about 2 feet deep into the earth and distance them about twenty four feet apart within the row. The line posts, much like the end posts, are also about 8 feet long but they hold a 3 inch diameter instead of 4.
It is important that you use glavanized wires when building a grape trellis beacuse it is rugged, durable and does not cause any rubbing or wearing of young vines. You can use hard or soft wire however I although I would recommend using wires of a size 9, 10 or 11. The reason being that during growing season, the soft wire tends to stretch more requiring more tightening in the springtime.
There are a few ways of securing the wires to the end posts. An excellent way to secure them is to loop the wires around each post a couple of times then twisting the end a few times around the wire while stretching it to the next post. Then finally, fasten the wires to the lines posts using staples.
Constructing a grape trellis is highly important during the first growing season and all throughout your grape growing experiences. Although the above guidelines should help you construct a grape trellis with minimal effort, I would advise you to check out the other advanced tips and diagrams found in this grape growing website, here.