How to Build a Grape Trellis

A grape trellis is a structure which provides support for growing grape vines. The strength of the vineyard trellis is the most important consideration when constructing one for supporting grape vines; this will ensure good harvest of grapes when the time comes. Building a trellis structure does not require advanced building skills and is a relatively simple project.

Materials

  • Springs
  • Nails
  • Anchors
  • Cross arms
  • Galvanised steel wire
  • Pressure treated wood posts (or other sturdy material)

Tools

  • Ratchets
  • Spinning lenny
  • Tamper
  • Wire fasteners
  • Wire splicers
  • Fence pliers
  • Posthole digger
  • Shovel
  • Saw

Instructions

  1. Plant grapevines in 8’x8’ pots, ensuring that each of the grapevines are set 8’ to 10’ apart.
  2. Approximately 8 feet of trellis is required for each grapevine that will be grown. The trellis should be strong enough to support the vines and a full crop of grapes. Ensure that sunlight reached the entire grapevine, including the stems, leaves, buds and fruit though the trellis.
  3. Consider the climate and the type of grape being planted when determining how high the trellis should be. For warmer climates, taller trellises are suitable, and for areas that experience frost, shorter trellises are more suitable.
  4. The trellis should be built before you plant the grapevines; use strong, durable material like pressure treated wood, PVC pipe, aluminium or stainless steel to construct the trellis.
  5. At a depth of approximately 2 feet, drive the posts into the ground and set the intervals between them at about 20 feet apart. For tall trellises use 8 feet posts and use 3 feet posts for shorter trellises.
  6. Along the stretch of the posts, string two lengths of 12.5 gauge galvanised steel wire; set the bottom wire to approximately 3 inches off the ground while the second wire runs along the top of the posts. Use a staple gun to securely fit them in place. To increase and keep the tension of the main wires stable, set the wire strainers at both ends of them.
  7. Nail both sides of the posts that stretch along both rows of trellis wires to install the catch wires. Cut pieces of lighter gauge wire to the length of the entire trellis. Add chain links to both ends of this wire and hook them to either end of the trellis, letting them rest on the middle post.
  8. From the main stem of the grapevine along the main wires, run a branch and use the catch wires to hold the vines in place. Adjust the catch wires as the grapevines grow upward.

Tips and warnings

  • Ensure the pipes are installed securely into the ground.
  • Bring the wires over and under for added strength.
  • Bend the ends of wires in and under to prevent injuries caused by the sharp edges.
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