When you are looking to build a grape vine trellis much is going to depend on its purpose and the amount of work it will have to do. Now to clarify that a little, if your grape vine or vines are a small scale backyard project of only a few plants a less substantial support is required. In that situation fastening a trellis framework to a sunny wall and training your vines upon it would be ideal.
However should you be looking to scale up the operation to a vineyard set up the grape vine trellis design is going to have to be significantly more substantial and robust to withstand the job expected of it especially in terms of the amount of weight it will come to bear. Discussing dimensions is not the purpose of this article because that is dependant on many variables such as the grape plant variety, its growth space requirement, the size and shape of the plot and much more.
Rather than actual measurements general plan and designs principles are discussed. The materials to construct a vine trellis is varied and each has its own merits. Hollow metal tubing is an incredible strong material capable of carrying huge weight. Angled joints can be used to make the build very quick and simple to construct. However a couple of evident drawbacks are the cost of the material which is likely to be significantly higher than timber for example. Plus the metal has to be galvanised to withstand the weather and rust which will considerably shorten its lifespan and durability. By far the most popular and really the standard as far as grape vine trellis construction goes is to use timber.
Timber is cheaper, very easy to cut, shape and work with. It is very durable and with suitable treatment (obviously without using chemicals that could harm your plants) it will resist weather and last for years. Your vine trellising design doesn’t have to be complicated and upright posts and runs of galvanised wire at set intervals is pretty much the standard for many and is very successful.
Once you vines begin to thrive they will collectively put quite a bit of strain on the trellis framework. This will be particularly the case just before harvest when established vines are laden with bunches of succulent grapes so strength is vital. To achieve this posts must be sunk to the correct depth and well secured into the ground and good supporting braces used as an integral part of the build at each end of every row. This provides, strength, support and stability. High quality, high tensile strength wire for stringing the lengths of the trellis is the next major element that will ensure a properly made system on which to grow your grape vines.
Many people who are embarking on constructing a vine trellis for the first time and are looking for guidance will wonder which comes first, the trellis of the planting of the rootstock. The simple answer is it is personal choice. I personally advocate constructing the trellis first before planting. The reason being trying to work around plants complicates the job. There is the risk you will damage some plants and roots when digging post holes. A clear area is easier, your vines can be planted where ever you wish and support is there right away.
There are many plans available, many online and at no cost. These will give precise dimensions of posts to use and detailed information of types, gauge and tensile strength of suitable wire to employ in your trellis project. It is a matter of checking various sets of plans to find the ones that will be most suitable for your particular situation.