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New form of trellis

 
gardener
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Hello fellow Permies! A few years ago I became unsatisfied with how much room grape trellises took up so I decided to try something new. A single eight foot cedar pole was all I used. As the grape vine grew I secured it to the pole with wire. Once it reached the top another round of wire went on it. Since grapes only produce on new growth I waited. Through the spring and early summer the vines grew but stayed out of reach. Once the heavy fruit formed the vines dropped to an easily harvested height. When complete I prune the vines back so I can repeat next summer.  Picture one is what it looks like.
This year I’ve decided to go even higher with the trellis. A thirteen foot pole held in place with a metal post and wire. The differences don’t stop there though. So I don’t have to wait for the vines to grow that high I’ve made it so the trellis can be tilted for easy harvest. Once complete just secure the pole back to the stake and prune when necessary. My goal is to be able to combine grapes and annuals. I believe that this setup could go in the middle of any full sun garden without adversely affecting the surrounding plants.
C9752527-F55B-41C4-BCE9-F11A028DB460.jpeg
Original single pole trellis
Original single pole trellis
46FBE7AE-A6A7-41ED-BD40-4EBC02369439.jpeg
New trellis
New trellis
1F911D9D-7507-4C85-AAE5-CEEECBBA03CA.jpeg
New trellis
New trellis
 
pollinator
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What type of grapes are you growing?
 
Scott Stiller
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I have several varieties but don’t remember specific names. The one in this picture is a muscadine. I have a couple wild grapes that should start producing soon.
 
pollinator
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I'm growing grapes for the first time this year and had only just started looking at alternative trellis methods. Nice to see one in action. I've heard of training grapes to act essentially like a fruit tree, but adding the ability to tilt the pole down is great.
 
Scott Stiller
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Thanks Matt!
I see no reason why it won’t work. I’ve been using tall cedar posts for years, this is just an improvement. Please keep us posted on how yours are going and any improvements you make. I’d love to see it.
 
Matt Todd
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Scott Stiller wrote:I’ve been using tall cedar posts for years, this is just an improvement.



How do you prune? Do you establish a woody "trunk" for the first year or two and then prune all growth back to that in the winter (and let new growth do all the leaves and fruiting off of that each spring? )
 
Scott Stiller
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The vines will drop into reach once the grapes are there. After harvest I prune them all back to the top of the pole. The growth and harvest process continues the same every year. I missed a vine one year and I had grapes dragging the ground. 🍇
 
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Scott Stiller wrote:Thanks Matt!
I see no reason why it won’t work. I’ve been using tall cedar posts for years, this is just an improvement. Please keep us posted on how yours are going and any improvements you make. I’d love to see it.



I have 2 table grape vines and limited space. They are only in their second year so I havent trellised them yet. This seems absolutely ideal for my situation but I cant visualize it at all and Matt's pictures are only clearing up a little. Can you upload some pictures of your situation? How should I train my rampantly growing, very happy vigorous young vines? Do you prune them in the summer or just in the fall?
Thanks in advance for your help!
 
Scott Stiller
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Hi Katherine. Given the age of your vines it’s a perfect time to start thinking about a good trellis. I would start by hammering in a good metal stake. You can always come back later and secure a sturdy pole to it. The vine in my pictures was planted nineteenth months ago and has never been pruned. I’ll wait until late fall to do that. It’s a good idea not to prune until the end of the second year anyway. For now I let it bush out and do what it wants. Every month or so I’ll tie it’s sturdiest  vines to the pole. Those will eventually reach the top and produce fruit. Once the vines reach the top I’ll secure them there with wire. The next growing season is when things get fun. The new growth every year produces grapes. The vines will grow from the top and drop into my reach when it’s heavy with fruit. After a harvest I’ll prune the vines back to the top so it can repeat the next year.
I have some pole/trellises that are as short as nine foot tall. They all work well so make the height something good for your situation.
51CC4974-2E68-4E5A-861E-FD5EFD434612.jpeg
The base
The base
9BC74095-05BC-4493-BF94-DF1F4E73E29E.jpeg
Bushy, unpruned vine.
Bushy, unpruned vine.
 
Katherine Pettus
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Thank you so very much! This is perfectly clear, exactly what I need, and very exciting. I'm so grateful for your time and advice.
 
Scott Stiller
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You’re welcome. Please keep us updated on your progress.
 
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Thanks for sharing Scott!  My wife and I got to go to the Czech Republic in 2022, and amid many of the beautiful gardens/orchards we would see grapes trellised to a single post.  I've looked and this is the only example that I have found so far here in the states.
 
Scott Stiller
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Thanks for Sharing that Andy! I knew I couldn’t be the only one that was doing it!
 
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