Muscadine grapes, also known as Southern Fox Grape and Scuppernong, are native to southeastern American states, thriving in humid conditions that would cause other grape varieties to wilt and dry up. They can be grown by any home gardener who has plenty of garden space, as each vine can grow up to 20 feet in length. However, trellising is essential to support their weight and encourage them to grow upward to receive maximum sunlight and air exposure.
How to Build a Muscadine Trellis
Select pressure-treated wooden posts for the trellis system. You will need one each for the end and brace posts, while the number of line posts will depend on the size of your crop. Make sure the end posts are 4 inches in diameter and at least 8 feet tall so 5 feet are visible when you dig them in the ground.
Use a post-hole digger to dig a 3-foot deep hole in the ground. Carefully stand the end post into the hole.
Install an identical post, 6 feet apart from the end post, 3 feet deep into the ground. This post will serve as the brace for the trellis.
Lay a 4-by-4 wooden post over the tops of the end post and brace post. Make sure it is longer than the height of both the vertical posts, so both ends of it protrude from the corners by at least a foot.
Take a strong wire, such as a 9-gauge galvanized wire, and twist it around the top of brace post. Extend it to the bottom of the end post diagonally, twisting it so it is tight. Cut the end with a wire cutter and twist it around so it is taut and secure.
Measure a distance of 20 feet from the brace post and use a post-hole digger to dig a hole 3 feet deep. Install an 8-foot post with a 3-inch diameter into the hole so it is 5-feet above the ground and in line with both the tops of the previous posts. This is called the line post.
Space line posts 20 feet apart from one another.
Place a length of 9-gauge galvanized wire over the top of the last line post and secure it there with 2- to 3-inch staples. Leave the staples slightly loose, as making them too tight may cause the wire to break. Run it to the top of another line post and repeat the procedure. Continue extending it over the tops of all the line posts until you reach the end post. Wind it around the top of the end post and staple into place so it is held firmly.
Things You Will Need
- 4, 8 foot long wood posts
- Measuring tape
- Post-hole digger
- 8-foot long 4-by-4 lumber
- 9-gauge galvanized wire
- Wire cutter
- 2-inch staples
- Besides wood, you can use steel posts or reinforced concrete.
- Tighten the galvanized wires with wire strainers periodically to prevent them from stretching.
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