How to Install a Grape Trellis
I used to have a grape trellis that was green ‘T’ posts, and very weak wire. This has been fine up until now, as my grape vines are still very young. However, as they age, the old trellis would not support the weight, and it was not particularly attractive. So given the downtime of the winter, I decided it would be a good time to upgrade the trellis.
My plan was to install strong wooden posts with a ‘T’ on top to allow the grapes to form a canopy. I would also use heavy gauge wire that was tightened properly.
(4) 4x4x6’ pressure treated wood
(4) 4x4 TZ Post Beam Brackets
12.5 Gauge Wire
(12) Wire Vices
Post Hole Digger
Gripple Tensioning Tool
Step by Step “How to Install the Grape Trellis” (Inches=”)
1. Cut 18 inches off of each 72” timber.
2. Install a post beam bracket on each now 54” timber. Make sure it is level before nailing or screwing the brackets into place.
3. Install the 18” pieces in the brackets to make T’s. Again make sure it is level before hammering or screwing into place.
4. Dig a hole 22” deep. Put contents of hole onto a sheet of plywood or in a wheelbarrow. Add 4” of gravel for drainage. Tamp the gravel down with the back handle of a digging bar.
5. Set the post into the hole, and level. Add back soil from hole, tamping as you go. Also make sure post stays level.
6. Drill (3) holes in each ‘T’. Drill a hole at each end of the ‘T’ and one 18” high on the middle of the post. Drill the hole large enough for the wire to fit through. Then widen each hole so that the wire vice will fit flush with the post.
7. Cut wire to fit each length that you need. Pull the wire through each hole and through a wire vice, going through the pointed end first. Do this for one side first.
8. Pull at least 8” through each wire vice, so you have enough slack to tighten if need be.
9. Attach the wire vices on one side only with screws.
10. Pull the wire through your holes at the other end of your trellis, and follow the same procedure as above with the wire vices. Pull as tight as you can by hand. Use gloves.
11. To tighten further, use your gripple tensioning tool. Tuck the wire out of sight, but make sure to leave at least 8” of slack so you can tighten later if need be.