How to Trellis a Grapevine

Overview

Grapes need to be grown on a trellis starting at a young age in order to flourish and provide a top-quality fruit harvest. A trellis helps ensure that the vine's root system becomes well-established, and that the trunk grows strong and straight. There are a couple ways to trellis a grape vine, most commonly (for American grapes) with a cordon wire trellis, which consists of a stake or a pole and some parallel lengths of wire that will support the vines and trunk.

Step 1

Install the trellis directly behind the grape vine seedling, or plant it directly in front an already established trellis. Prune the seedling if necessary by cutting the main trunk back to two or three buds.

Step 2

Care for the grapevine as you usually would until the new growth reaches from 6 to 10 inches long. Pick out three to four of the strongest canes and prune back all the others to the base of the trunk.

Step 3

Gently tie the cane shoots to the trellis with plant ties. Tie the canes at a point where they will not lean off and are firm against the trellis. Continue to tie the canes during the first season.

Step 4

Prune back the top of the main shoots with pruning scissors once they reach the top of the trellis. This is called pinching the canes, which will encourage future fruit production. Keep the grape vine tied to the trellis.

Step 5

Pick out two to three of the strongest canes during the spring of the second year. Lean these canes outwards along the wire and tie with the plant ties to train the strongest shoots in new directions. Remove the other shoots by pruning.

Step 6

Pick out the two strongest canes during the winter of the third year. Prune back all of the other canes.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning scissors
  • Gardening gloves
  • Plant ties
  • Trellis

References

  • N.C. State University: Training Grapevines
  • Grape Vine Growing Tips: Proper Trellis Support
Keywords: trellising grapevines, grapevine care, securing a grapevine to a trellis

About this Author

Lauren Wise has more than eight years' experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food, wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in various magazines, including "Runway," "A2Z," "Scottsdale Luxury Living" and "True West." Wise holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Arizona State University.