How to Build an Arbor Trellis for Muscadine Vines
Muscadine grapes are native in the United States from Delaware to Florida and into the Midwest. A trellis will help with their cultivation because they need annual pruning and lots of sun for optimum fruiting. In the wild, muscadine vines can grow up to 100 feet long. This tendency needs severe dormant season pruning to produce fruit from the current season's shoots, which sprout from growth of the previous year. A trellis easily facilitates this delicate trimming work.
Decide on the location and orientation of your trellis arbor; this arbor will be 8 feet by 12 feet when completed.
Dig a 3-foot deep hole with the post hole digger; have a shovel handy to help with the soil removal.
Measure 7 feet from this hole; dig another hole. These two holes will form one end of the arbor.
Measure 12 feet out and perpendicular to these holes; make two marks on the earth and dig 3-foot deep holes in these two spots. This will create a rectangular shape with the post locations.
Fill each of these four holes with 2 inches of gravel.
Place the 4 by 4 by 12-foot posts into the holes and brace them in place. Use the 2 by 4's to temporarily support the posts by nailing them diagonally onto the 4 by 4's and wedging them into the earth as bracing. Use a level to ensure that the posts are vertical.
Cement the posts into place. Use a hoe to mix the cement in a wheelbarrow according to the directions on the bag. Allow cement to dry overnight.
Boost the 8-foot long 4 by 4 up onto the vertical posts, on the side of the form where the posts are 7 feet apart.
Drill a 9-inch hole into the top of this horizontal member with a 7/16th inch drill bit.
Embed the lag bolt into this hole and tighten with a wrench.
Screw hooks into the vertical posts; these should be facing each other on the two end supporting forms. Place one at the top of a vertical post, one in the middle and one between these two hooks; you will now have three hooks on the upper half of the post. Repeat this hook pattern on all the posts.
Attach clothesline from hook to hook and tighten; the grapevine can now climb onto the clothesline and be pruned.
Things You Will Need
- Post hole digger
- Measuring tape
- 4-4 by 4 inch,posts, each 12 feet long
- 8-2 by 4's, each 4 feet long for bracing
- 8-16 penny nails
- Wheel barrow
- 2-4 by 4 inch posts, each 8 feet long
- Drill 7/16th drill bit
- 10 inch lag bolt
- 6 screw hooks
- gardenguides.cim: How to Build an Arbor Trellis for Muscadine Vines
- Introduction Most Southerners picked muscadine grapes in the wild as children. Sometimes called Scuppernongs or fox grapes. These spicy-sweet, thick-skinned grapes are an old Southern favorite and are still found growing wild throughout the lower South. They thrive with little care, and the vines can remain productive for 100 years! Modern breeding has brought us a wonderful range of varieties: wine grapes for the home vintner and jelly maker, plus delicious fresh-eating varieties, which can be as large as golf balls! Some muscadine grapes are self pollinating, while the female varieties need a self-pollinating variety to help them set fruit. Uses in the Landscape Grapes add a touch of old world charm to any landscape. With large, lush leaves and gnarled, shaggybarked trunks, grapes are particularly attractive with clusters of fruit hanging down through the foliage. Use them on fences to divide areas or create hidden gardens within your larger landscape picture. Train them over a patio for a living roof that's cool and shady, but drops its leaves in the winter to let the warm sun in. They can also be trained into small weeping trees for interesting accents in the border or in a large container. Planting and Culture Site Selection Grapes do well on a wide range of soils, but rich sandy loam or clay loam soils are preferred. Grapes do not tolerate flooding and may grow poorly in mucky soils unless planted in raised mounds. Plants will grow more vigorously and produce more fruit in full sun. Grapes prefer slightly acid soil (pH 6.0-6.5), but soils of up to moderate alkalinity are tolerated. If you are in doubt about the acidity of your soil, take a soil sample to the Cooperative Extension Agent in your county for a soil test. Site Selection and Planting Enrich the bed with aged manure, compost or pine bark mixed with soil dug from the hole (50:50 mix). Beds may be mulched with organic mulches. The grape should be planted in the middle of the main posts of your trellis. Remove the grape from the pot, gently loosen the root ball, cut any roots that swirl around the edges of the root ball, and place the grape in the planting hole. The grape should be planted at or slightly above Muscadine Grape Just Fruits & Exotics
- Muscadine Grapes