It has always been our plan to install a latticework (trellis) overhead next to the grapes we planted beside the rainwater tank. Because one of our new grapes has grown up past the top of the chainlink fence, we decided to begin construction on the grape arbor this past week.
When we first moved in, the tall fence beside the water tank was overgrown by two varieties of vine. We thought this was unsightly and removed the vines. It was not easy work, as the vines grew in and out of the chain link.
Then we planted two grape plants, a white seedless variety and a red seedless variety, under the fence. Grapes won’t produce for the first couple of years, but as they grow, you can train the vines to grow where you want. We are simply leading them straight up the fence. As side branches grow, we train them to go horizontally. If the vines attach their tendrils where we don’t want, we gently unwind the tendrils and wind them around the wire where we do want them. Eventually, the vines should cover pretty much the entire fence, as well as our arbor.
Andrew began the projecct by digging three holes for the supporting posts for our grape arbor, each hole being more than half a meter (1.5 feet) deep. We found that almost exactly where we wanted to place the posts, concrete had been poured many years ago. Fortunately, the concrete ends abruptly and uniformly 37 centimeters (about 15 inches) from where we wanted the posts. So, we ended up digging the holes and placing our posts closer to the tank fence than we planned, but the result is a very nice looking overhang of our arbor.
After placing the posts in a straight line with the tops all level with each other, we attached the support beam of our grape arbor. Then we installed the three beams which would support the latticework, sloping down slightly.
We had priced the trellis at one store and received back a quote of over $300 ($240 US). That surprised me, but not Andrew. We checked a couple of websites and found a price that was nearly two hundred dollars less. So, we drove our trailer down the the Mitre 10 store in Thames and went inside to buy our trellis. The salesman Mike strongly suggested we add two more supports for the trellis, and so we also bought two more 2x4s. Mike explained that if the distance between supports is too great, the lattice will warp badly. Mike also gave us some smaller pieces of wood as intermediate bracings for where two pieces of trellis meet.
Back home, I climbed up the ladder again and began attaching the wood. We placed the trellis on top to be sure everything lined up well, and then I nailed everything into place.
Our grape plant seems to be quite content to grow along under the trellis. It is our hope that we can train both plants to cover the entire trellis, given enough time. Then we’ll have grapes hanging down from a nice shaded area which overlooks our flower gardens. We will be able to sit there watching the sunset and pick grapes to munch.
We are pleased with the look of our new grape arbor, a very nice addition to our home. Entire cost of the project, including wood (lumber) and lattice, is $291 (about $234 US).
and After Shots.
Angle for Before and After Shots