Growing vines on a trellis or arbor is an ancient practice that dates back hundreds of years. It not only creates a lush green wall with colorful blooms, but it also provides shade, blocks wind, acts as a privacy screen and frees up ground space, enabling gardeners to plant a variety of vegetables or other plants. Annuals grow quickly to fill the entire structure with their foliage, while planting seasonal vegetable vines like cucumbers and tomatoes in the summer will give you a fresh supply of homegrown edibles.
Decide the types of vines you want to grow so you can place the trellis or arbor according to the plants' sunlight and soil requirements. Your choice is based on whether you want to grow clinging vines such as English Ivy that attach themselves to any surface with their small claws, twining vines that wrap themselves around their support surface, or sprawling vines like roses that need to be tied to a trellis since they spread and grow vigorously.
Keep in mind the surrounding landscape and the purpose for using the trellis to help you choose the appropriate vine plant from your nursery.
Remove any rocks and debris to prepare the soil around the arbor or trellis. Loosen the soil with a shovel and add two inches of compost to it. Rake it in so it goes deep into the soil.
Dig holes in the soil to accommodate the root balls of your vines. Lower each vine plant into its hole and backfill with soil. Tamp the area around it to remove any air bubbles, and water lightly with a watering can to make the soil evenly moist.
If your vine already has a few long tendrils, you can begin training it to grow on the trellis or arbor. Gently extend the delicate tendrils as far on the surface of the trellis as they can reach. Carefully wind some gardening string or twine around the tendril and the trellis two to three times and tie a knot. If your vine is still very young, however, wait until the tendrils grow before you tie it to the trellis.
Check the vines frequently as they grow and cut or unwind the string or wire once they attach themselves to the trellis so they can continue growing on their own.