In my tree series,you may have noticed I buy clearance plants. One advantage of this is the plants aren’t expected to do much on the first year. If they live we have success. Well year two rolls around abs all of a sudden my bargain grapes are attacking the garden and the yard simultaneously.
Now I was left with two choices. I started with explaining that World War II future changed with the opening of the Eastern front, leading German forces to split their strength against superior numbers. The grapes didn’t listen. The attack on the grass got worse on the “Mars” variety of grape. I wasn’t surprised somehow. Choice two build it and they will climb. A Trellis.
I appropriated five 2″x2″, seven brackets, a bunch of #8 wood screws, four eyelet hooks, four open hooks, 100 feet of 20 gauge spooled wire, 8 1/8″ wire clips, and four turnbuckles. And three single hole cinder blocks and a bag of fast setting concrete. Other party favorites needed were a drill, a couple of drill bits (7/64″ and 1/4″), tape measure, level, needle nose pliers, screwdriver (or bit for drill)
I measured my grapes and found that the node where the vines split at was about 18″ of the ground. I drill holes for attaching hardware with the 7/64 bit and in middle post with the 1/4″ bit for passing the wire through. The height of the wires can be customized, or evenly spaced. I placed a bracket at the top of two posts and two on a third that will be the middle post. I placed one 2″x2″ in place like an L shape to mark the resting place. By placing the bracket in place and using a pen to mark where the screws will be placed. Once all piece are marked, the small bit will create a pilot hoke for screws. Be careful not to drill completely through the posts. From the bracket measure out the spacing you wish for your wires. I choose uneven to match where my grapes branch now. I have over six feet of height after installed,even spacing would be about 15″ apart as the too would potential be another support. Measure these four point out on post. Drill partially through on the end with small bit. The center piece is drilled all the way through for the wire to pass through with the larger drill bit. Attach the hooks into the end pieces by hand.
The cinder blocks are dug in. The holes dug here used are not the same depth. The land slopes and for final Arbor to level this maybe necessary. You can start with same depth and back fill to make the top level. It helps to have a second person. But if you are alone put two posts a piece linking them. Place the cinder blocks in holes, then attach the top piece. Put a level on the top and check to see what adjustment is need. Once you get the first two done repeat with the third, but disconnect the first post only use two at a time or you may crack the wood or twist a bracket.
If we are level, no we,a reddis the concrete. The fast setting concrete takes about a gallon of water. The small cinder blocks will allow for a single bag to cover all is them. Place a ppst inside then pour enough concrete mix to fill the inside of block 2/3 and add about a quart of water. Pivot the post side to side a bit without lifting. Fill the rest of the block up. You can sandwich the post between two buckets filled with water to hold in place. You could add another piece of wood to support it as well by temporary screwing another piece to be a leg. Two ensure the second post is spaced perfectly, I put the piece that would fit on top between the posts in the middle. It can rest on the eye hooks of the first post. But let the first post sit for about half hour to hour for concrete to set. Repeat for last post. Once all posts are set you add the wood pieces on top to complete the frame.
The wire that will support the vines needs to be connected. The best way are wire clips. They are U-bolts made really small. The clip goes on top of wire, you thread wire through loop and bring wire back through the U-bolts, then tighten. The picture shows turnbuckle, but process is the same for the closed loops I started at the closed loop on our end side lowest on the post. I threaded through the center post and then attached it to the turnbuckle as shown above. The turnbuckle will slip on the opening hook on far post. As shown, the wire is actually tightened by turning the turnbuckle. After you install all the wires, you may need to retighten the first one. You have created tension across all the pieces and may have drawn the posts closer together.
We have completed an Arbor. I used a soft wire covered strapping to tie the grape vines to the wires. The leaves will look flipped over but they will straighten out. The grapes will need a little attention to keep them in their right place. Once the vines are supported, I will weed and pave a weed barrier and mulch to keep the vines happy.