Friday, September 7, 2012

How to trellis a grapevine

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When I planted my grapevine it was the beginning of a new gardening adventure. In Idaho it was simply too cold most of the time to grow grapes. Mom and dad never grew them. Dear grandpa, who had the greenest thumb around, never grew them. My farming uncle never grew them. After generations of gardeners and farmers I never thought to grow them my self either. Further south and closer to the warm desert however is a different story. I am learning to grow things that I couldn't before. Our grapevine is loaded with grapes. Imagine my delight....then concern....when I saw the branches loaded with bundles of green grapes but they are also getting quite heavy. I didn't realize they would be so heavy. I needed to get the vines trellised somehow. By now the folks at Home Depot know me, my 4 boys, and my dear hubby quite well. It's like another craft store, yep, I am addicted. Anyway, I bought a couple of fan trellis'. Stuck 'em in the ground on each side of the vine and stood back to admire my ingenuity.... Only problem, it didn't look so ingenious. In fact it didn't work too well to hold those heavy vines at all. Time to do some research. Gotta love google. After watching a couple of tutorials this is what I did....
We cemented 2 4x4 posts in the ground about 6 feet apart. Sometimes that sandy soil is nice.
I wanted the posted to be level or slightly below the top of the fence. That meant digging a 2 foot deep hole.
My grapevine is at the end of my raspberries so I will be able to use the post to trellis my raspberries as well. Double duty! ;-)
I measured about 6 inches down from the top for the 1st wire line. Then another 2 feet from that for the 2nd wire line. The goal is to get the branches to trellis to the side at a comfortable height for harvesting. Predrilling the holes helped to screw in the hook. I used a slightly smaller drill bit. Then a pair of pliers to help gript he hook.
Then just twist until there's no threads left poking out of the board.
Now, I needed a way to adjust the tension on the wire without restringing it each year. This doo-dad was just the thing.
A turnbuckle eye/hook.
Now just to get the wire then I can share the rest of the plan. For now, get your posts in the ground so the cement can set. ;-)
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