The best aspect behind grape growing is that they grow on a vine, with the help of a trellis. Since vines cant support themselves, the trellis gives them a place to hold on to; maximizing space usage. Because of this, grapevine growers can harvest grapes both in a vineyard, and in their own backyards.
The Trellis Explained
Vines are not strong enough to support themselves and therefore need a trellis for support. The way a trellis looks depends upon the person who is growing the grapevine. It can be very decorative or it can strictly be functional. A trellis can come in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit the needs of the grape grower and it can be made out of a variety of materials including iron, pretreated wood, stainless steel, PVC pipe, or aluminum. It can be purchased or a simple functional design can be fairly easily constructed by hand. Although grapevines can be grown in a yard, they are a fairly large plant. You will need a space of about eight feet by eight feet for one vine.
The trellis should always be built before the grapevine is planted. In general, a shorter trellis is more suitable to endure colder weathers, while higher trellises maximize sunlight exposure in warm climates. A short trellis will have posts of an average of 3 ft in height, while a large trellis usually has posts 8 ft tall.
Determining where your trellis will be located must be planned before you begin placing the poles. When planting the posts, make sure they are a minimum of 2 ft into the ground, for optimum support. Many recommend cementing the post into the ground to ensure that it will stay in place, while others suggest securing the post with the use of catch wires that are anchored to the ground, or to a second, smaller pole. Trellis posts must be planted 8ft apart, with two rows of galvanized wire running between posts. One must run along the bottom of the poles ” at least 3 inches from the ground- and one must run along the top of the poles. You can staple them to the posts by using a staple gun.
Building Your Trellis
Buying a trellis for your vines is very common amongst small crop farmers. Even though the investment is initially higher, your options widen and you are guaranteed to have a fully functional trellis, ready for use. If you are planning to buy your trellis, make sure to have the exact measurements of the prospective grapevine location so that you dont spend unnecessary energy replacing it.
When your grapevine begins to grow, it will climb along these two wires on the trellis. At the beginning, the vine will need your help to grow onto the right places ” an aspect that we will later discuss on my grape pruning section.
Pierre Duponte is a grape growing expert. He spends his time teaching others how to make fine wines. For more great tips on How To Succeed with Your Grape Trellis, or you can get his free 10 part mini course on grape growing and how to make wine visit http://www.grapegrowingwinemakingtips.com/.
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