A grape trellis supports and encourages heavy grapevines to grow upwards for maximum sunlight and air circulation; both of these elements impact fruit quality and ease of harvest. Whether you are growing a few grapevines in your back yard as a hobby or own a commercial setup spread over acres of land, trellis your vines for maximum yield and output.
Insert a wooden stake to support newly planted grapevine seedlings before you construct a long-term trellis. Keep it as long as you want and attach the grapevine to it with soft cord. Replace the wooden stake with a trellis as the grapevine grows and crosses the top.
Commonly used in vineyards, these trellises support grapevines along two lengths of wire secured between two posts. Paul Domoto, a horticulturist at Iowa State University, suggests using two 8-foot-tall, 4-by-4 posts with high tensile, galvanized wire in between for a single grapevine. Anchor each post deeply in the ground and drill two holes through each, one near the base and the other near the top. Extend a length of galvanized wire through each hole, and snug it firmly to support growing grapes. Space multiple trellises 8 to 10 feet apart.
Construct a lattice trellis to add a decorative yet functional structure to your backyard. Most home improvement stores sell lattice sheets made from plastic or wood. The Black & Decker website recommends using two 2-by-4 lumber posts and installing three brackets along a straight line on the inner side of each. Slide the lattice sheet snugly between the brackets of both posts so it stays in place and supports tendrils of climbing vines that cling to the surface upon contact.
According to the University of Missouri Extension, home gardeners can construct a simple freestanding latticework trellis that serves as a privacy wall while supporting grapes, or train grapes to climb an existing masonry or brick wall. Plant the vines along a south-facing wall if you live in a cold region so the growing grapes receive maximum direct sunlight.
Install a large overhead trellis that supports grapevines, exposes them to direct sunlight and provides shade to the outdoor sitting area directly below. Build a sturdy rectangular wooden frame with rows of heavyweight galvanized wire or wooden posts across it. Extend the frame from a balcony or porch, or support it with vertical posts anchored firmly in the ground for a freestanding structure.
Gardening stores sell arches that securely support growing grapevines while providing a decorative entryway for an outdoor garden.
- Photo Credit Grapevine image by Tomasz Pawlowski from Fotolia.com
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