Concord grapes make a favorite juice and serve as a nutritious snack. Since the 1860s, when Dr. Thomas Bramwell Welch started an industry by making Concord grape juice, Concords have remained popular among consumers around the world. Grape vines travel far and wide—often growing up to 30 feet in one season—so providing a trellis helps keep the vines off the ground, where insects and snails can eat them before they reach your kitchen.
Provide a Plant Stake
When you first plant a Concord grape vine, it will benefit from the support of a sturdy plant stake, which you can pound into the ground near the vine’s base. The plant will quickly send its vines past the top of the stake. When this happens, it’s wise to build a taller structure, such as a trellis, to support the rambling vines.
Using PVC Pipe
You can build a simple, long-lasting trellis from 1/2-inch PVC pipe and corner fittings. Plan to build your PVC trellis about 8 feet tall, and include upright supports at all four corners and in the center if your trellis will be longer than about 6 feet. Building with PVC is like playing with tinker toys—you just pop the pieces together to create the shape you want. Be sure to sink your corner supports into the ground at least 1 foot, or set them in cement.
Build a Trellis with Wood
A grape trellis made from 2-by-4s and 2-by-2s works well to support the rampant vines. Make your wooden trellis eight feet tall and include one upright 2-by-4 board at each of the four corners and also in the center if your trellis will run longer than 6 feet. It needn’t be wide; 2-3 feet is a good width. Sink the corner posts into cement and then nail or screw 2-by-2s to the top, running the entire length.
Using Privacy Lattice
Privacy lattice, available at building supply stores, is made from plastic or wood. Choose plastic if you live in a humid climate because it will withstand the weather longer than wood. Build a frame for your lattice trellis from 2-by-4 boards—a good size would be 2 feet wide by 6 feet long and 6-8 feet tall. Then tie or nail your lattice to the ends and the top. Lattice is sold in widths as narrow as two feet—this will be sufficient for the width of a Concord grape trellis.