How to Build a Grapevine Trellis

Grapevines provide delicious fruits for preserves and wines. image by Grape vine photo by Ron Zimmerman: Picasaweb, Wire trellis photo by Howard Schwartz: Forestry Images.

Overview

Planting grapevines is an investment towards years or even generations of fruit. Properly managed, pruned and trellised, grapevines can live 100 years or longer. Your grapevine needs space, sunlight, well drained soil and a trellis to be trained on. The trellis in this article is easy to build, supports two or three vines, and requires about 8-by-4 feet of space.

Step 1

Choose a location that receives 8 or more hours of sun a day. The location should be 8 feet long and at least 6 feet wide (though 8 feet wide is better).

Step 2

Dig two post holes 2 feet deep and 8 feet apart with the post hole digger. Set the posts and use the level to make them plumb, or straight up and down. Brace the posts with two 1-by-2 boards screwed to the posts and to stakes set 3 feet away and at right angles to the post.

Step 3

Pour a bag of quick set concrete into the hole and add water according to the directions. The concrete will set in less than 1 hour. Fill the hole in with dirt. Wait until the concrete sets hard and remove the braces and stakes.

Step 4

Cut four 3 feet long cross pieces from the 2-by-4 boards. Drill two 3/8-inch mounting holes in the center of each. Have a helper hold the cross piece at the top of one of the posts. Use the level to keep it even and drill through the holes all the way through the post.

Step 5

Attach the cross piece with carriage bolts, washers and nuts.

Step 6

Add a second cross piece to the post, 18 inches below the first, following Steps 4 and 5. Add cross pieces to the other post in the same way.

Step 7

Screw the eye bolts into the cross pieces, four to each cross piece. Run the clothesline cable between the two posts through the eye bolts. Connect one end of the cable with a cable clamp, run it to the opposite post, through an eye bolt, over to an adjacent eye bolt and back to the other post. Do this for both the upper and lower cross pieces, resulting in four cables between each cross piece. Attach the last end with a clamp and turnbuckle and tighten the cable.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 - 4-by-4 posts, 8 feet long
  • 2 - 2-by4s, 8 feet long
  • 8 - 1/4-by-6-inch carriage bolts
  • 8 - 1/4 inch nuts and washers
  • 16 - eye bolts
  • 1 - 50 foot length coated clothesline cable
  • 4 - cable clamps
  • 2 - turnbuckles
  • 2 - 40 lb. bags quick set concrete
  • Post hole digger
  • Level
  • Drill with bits and driver bits
  • Saw

References

  • Trellises, Arbors and Pergolas; Better Homes and Gardens; 2004
  • Trellising Grape Vines
  • Guide to Grape Growing

Who Can Help

  • Grape Growing Secrets
  • Ages of Grape Vines
Keywords: DIY, grape trellis, vine arbor

About this Author

Michael Logan is a writer, editor and web page designer. His professional background includes electrical, computer and test engineering, real estate investment, network engineering and management, programming and remodeling company owner. Logan has been writing professionally since he was first published in "Test & Measurement World" in 1989.

Photo by: Grape vine photo by Ron Zimmerman: Picasaweb, Wire trellis photo by Howard Schwartz: Forestry Images.