Grape trellis is a gardening structure, designed to support grapevines. It is a necessary component for healthy grapevine growth and their good harvest. Trellis also helps to train the climbing vine to grow upwards for optimum sunlight exposure. By using it, maximum grapevine density can be fitted in a minimum space, thus increasing the yield. Pruning the vines and harvesting ripe grapes also becomes less troublesome. You can pick up the ripe grapes easily without disturbing the main stem and neighboring plants.
Tips for Constructing a Trellis:
A functional trellis should be strong enough to bear the weight of the vine and the full-grown crop (with grapes). It should not collapse in harsh winds or heavy rainfall. Constructing a functional trellis is simple, provided that the right equipment is available. For building the same, you require posts, posthole digger, springs, wires, wire fasteners, a wire splicer, an anchor, cross arms, and a shovel.
You can opt for a lighter or heavier post, depending on the purpose. Lighter posts are meant for supporting the vine, whereas heavier posts are used for supporting the wire. It is recommended that you choose heavy posts with a 4-inch diameter. Another point to be considered before building, is the height. The height of a trellis may vary depending upon the climatic conditions and the grape variety to be planted.
In general, a high trellis is favorable for the warmer conditions, whereas a shorter trellis is best suited for the cold conditions. Posts can be wooden or metallic. If you are using wooden posts, ensure that they are rot resistant and free of harmful chemicals. Considering all these factors, you can purchase durable posts with proper height. Regarding the wire, purchase a stainless steel wire of 10-12 gauge.
You can build the trellis before planting the grape vines. Otherwise, construction activity may disturb the vine growth. For fixing the posts, dig postholes with depth of about 2 feet. Set the posts securely on the ground (at least 2 feet deep), leaving the space of about 20 feet in between two posts. For windy areas, you can space them 15 feet apart, so as to prevent collapsing.
The next step is wiring. Run two wires along the height of the posts; you can set the bottom wire at the height of 3-4 inches above the ground and another wire along the top of the posts. For tight and secure wiring, you can tie the wires by using anchors. Place the anchors at the ends of the trellis by digging the ground at a depth of 3 feet. Then tie the wire to the looped end of the anchor.
To attach wires to the posts, the simplest method is to drill holes in the posts. According to the height of the wire, you can drill two holes (one near the bottom and another at the top) on each post. Then feed the wires through the holes while fixing them. Another option of attaching wire is to use the nails for securing them.
Once you grow grapes, you can tie the main stem of the vines to the wire of the trellis. Doing so will train the grape vines to grow upward. As the vines mature, they will grow along the wires.