Need to support a growing grape vine in your home garden or backyard? Building a simple grape trellis doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, there are a few different options for grape trellises that could work for any backyard garden or home orchard.
How to train grapes
How you train your grapes will depend a bit on which trellis system you decide to use and what types of grapes you’re growing. For the most part, using a small bamboo pole or a stake in the ground next to your vine and tying a string or wire to it to connect it to the trellis above will work. This will provide your young plant with proper support as it grows up toward the trellis wire. You may need to attach the vine to the support with garden tape or string.
Using a pergola or arbor for grapes
There are many ways you can grow and train your vines, just make sure you have your trellis in place before you plant your grapes. While arches and pergolas are a beautiful option they can make it harder to maintain the vines and will inevitably decrease fruit production. It is important to have access to the cordons, or arms, of each vine to prune them on a yearly basis if you want maximum fruit yield. Choose a trellis system that works for your space and desired outcome.
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Single Wire Grape Trellis
The easiest and most economical trellis to construct and maintain has a single wire, 5 to 6 feet above the ground and is well anchored on each end.
Single Wire Trellis Supplies:
We built this style trellis with treated 4×4 posts spaced 15 feet apart. It may be a little over built, but better safe than sorry, right?
- Put the posts 2 feet deep and anchored them with some cement (optional).
- On the top of each post, screw in eyelet hooks to run the No. 9 wire through. You could also simply cut a groove or staple the wire in place.
- Use an anchor on each end to keep the wire tight and support the vine. We used a 3 foot, metal T post hammered into the ground about 2 ½ feet, at a 45 degree angle, 4 feet away from the post.
- Attach turnbuckles (wire tensioners) to each end of the wire after threading it through the eyelets and hook them onto the anchors at each end.
Double wire grape trellis
A double wire system will yield about 30% more fruit than a single wire trellis and can be used if you have more space in your yard or orchard.
Double wire trellis supplies:
- 4×4 posts
- 2×6 lumber
- No. 9 wire
- Eyelet screws
- Turnbuckles (wire tensioners)
- Concrete (optional)
- Metal T-post
- To build a double wire trellis, instal the treated 4×4 posts about 15 feet apart.
- Attach a 4 foot long cross arm of 2×6, treated lumber at the top of each post.
- Drill holes a few inches in from the outside edge of the cross arms and pass the wire (No. 9) through the holes.
- Use a T post, or other anchor, pounded into the ground at a 45 degree angle away from the post to attach the wire and keep it tight.
- You can use a turnbuckle to attach the two wires to the anchors, this will help maintain tension in the wires.
Maintaining grape vines
No matter what type of trellis system you choose for your grapes, one of the biggest keys to a successful harvest is maintaining vines. Be sure to prune back appropriately, based on the type of grapes you’re growing. Many grapes are area specific, so don’t forget to utilize your local cooperative extension office for great info on the grapes that grow in your area.