Grapevines are thick and heavy, and whether you are growing a few or several, they will need a trellis to support them as they grow. This trellis or arbor can be decorative and functional, enhancing the appearance of the surrounding landscape while supporting the vines and encouraging them to grow upward for maximum sunlight and air exposure. Besides the ready-made trellises available in garden supply centers, you can make a simple one at home without any construction skills or experience.
How to Make a Grapevine Arbor or Trellis
Select an open and wide space in your yard to construct the trellis. Keep in mind that each grapevine grows very large and will need 8-foot-by-8-foot space to grow and develop.
Purchase PVC pipes, aluminum or stainless steel pipes or pretreated wood posts with a 4-inch diameter from your local hardware store to serve as main posts for your trellis. For colder climates, you will need shorter trellises with main posts that are 3 feet high, while taller trellises, or those with posts that are 8 feet high are used when growing grapevines in warmer climates. The amount of main posts you need depends on the number of grapevines you want to grow. You should use one main post per grapevine. Purchase these posts already cut, or cut them to size yourself.
Use a post-hole digger to make a hole 2 feet deep in the ground and insert a post into it. Repeat the process with other main posts, spacing them 15 to 20 feet apart.
Insert a 2-foot stake at an angle away from the main post to serve as an anchor post for the wires of your trellis. For a long trellis, insert anchor posts at each post, but for a trellis comprising of two or three main posts, an anchor post at each end will suffice.
Take the 12-gauge galvanized steel wire and run two lengths of it along the trellis posts, with one length 3 inches above the ground and the other one a foot below the tops of the main posts. Pull these wires, known as the support wires, taut between posts and staple them with a staple gun so they are secure, tight and do not move.
Cut several lengths of lighter gauge wire the same length as your trellis and run it between lengths of two support wires. These wire are called catch wires, are essential for holding the grapevines in place.