We started this grape arbor that is attached to our home 2 years ago. How are things going and would we do it again? Well, let’s talk about that.
Fact is, it hasn’t really been a very big producer. That said, I haven’t really put much effort into it. I haven’t tried to fertilize the plants in any way. I haven’t put compost or manures or even any kind of blood meal or anything like that on them. I’ve just let them be, so I don’t know if this is the year that they really blossom out and we really get a lot of grapes or if it’s just not the best setup.
Pruning does take up some time. Throughout the course of the year, maybe every two to three weeks, you must make sure that the vines aren’t growing onto the house. We only do the major pruning back to the main vine once a year, but throughout the year, every couple weeks, you’ve got to go up there and make sure they don’t grow into the house.
Overall I think this is probably limited to somebody who really needs the shade. In our instance, the land slopes away from our house very quickly. If we were to try to put some kind of a tree over here it would have to be very tall to cast the shade we need. That makes it a storm hazard for our home. The storms would be coming from the West and would blow trees directly onto the house, so trees aren’t a good option for us.
Having the trellis right up against the house still gets us the shade we need on this western front and not have our bedroom heat up.
Did you miss when we first put up this trellis? Watch the installation video here!
I think that’s the other thing to consider. What part of your home are you trying to shade. If this is a room that you’re not going to go into in the afternoon, then maybe it’s not worth trying to provide the shade and the extra work involved with keeping the vines trimmed back throughout the year, so take those kinds of things into account to see if this is an application that’s really suited for you.
Structurally it is holding up really, really well. I was up there trimming back these vines and shaking it around and using it for support. It is flexible, because that’s the way it’s designed to be but I don’t see any problems with it. I think if this thing were even in full fruit that it wouldn’t go anywhere, so I’m very happy with the stability of the structure of this kind of trellis.
Lastly, we are growing both table grapes and muscadines on this trellis and one thing I’ll note is that even though we’re here in the Southern United States and muscadines are our native grape, the muscadine vines are much more brittle. The table grapes vines are very flexible. This matters when it comes time to training the vines. The muscadines seem best suited to training before they go dormant in early winter whereas the table grapes seem to be able to be trained at anytime during dormancy.
Be sure to Subscribe to our YouTube Channel as we’ll show you this again later as the year goes on. As far as the ground around the grape trellis, we’ve got some plans for that too, so stay tuned.