Recycling to Make a Backyard Trellis

January 10, 2011

So the question posed last week when I got done pruning the grapes was, could I build a new trellis before the weather turned? Answer: No.

Let me back up: I bought a house over a year ago that had grapes that were in need of pruning. The previous owners had built a trellis and then proceeded to do a figure eight with the vines up over the top. The weight of the vines on such small wood over a large distance broke the trellis in the middle. The trellis system was actually upright because the vines went from one side to the other. In fact, when I removed one vine from the left hand side, that side fell over.

Grapevines after pruning, photograph taken January 4, 2011

The previous owners had installed a swing set, which we had removed but never got around to dealing with the metal. We actually decided to cut down some of the pieces and use them as the new trellis system. I think a true viticulturalist would look at my trellis system and cringe, because it be considered too high compared to what they do in vineyards. However, aside from the electricity it took to run a saw, this was totally and completely free and will last a few years. I like free. Sure, I could have cut it down further, and I might next winter, but for now, I can get in under the grapes without having to duck much.

New grape trellis made from recycling a swing set. Photographed January 5, 2010

We also made a trellis for the berry patch, but that bed needs some work later this winter.

New berry trellis made from recycling a swing set.

Further reading:

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