Grape Trellis Problem

temeryMay 10, 2014

Here's my problem: I planted grape vines a few years ago, and they've grown fine. Initially I had the vines trellised along a wood post fence. This got knocked down by a tornado. I replaced the broken horizontal members, and these got knowledge down by the October storm. After all was said and done, the fence posts were beginning to rot anay way.

Last year I pounded in 3/4 " galvanized pipe. I first pounded in 1/2 " pipe - 10' pipe, 5' is in the ground, 5' above ground. The 3/4" pipe was place over the 1/2" pipe, 3' into the ground, 7' above.

I strung 14 gauge wire between each pipe at 3 1/2 feet, and at the top (7'). The pipes are 10' apart.

My concern is this - is this trellis system going to support the weight of the vines over time? It is fairly easy for me to move the top of each pipe a few inches in any direction. The wires between the pipes minimize this, but I am still a bit worried.

I am considering 4x4x12' pressure treated posts (10' apart) buried 4' and using 12 gauge wire. I'd rather not have to do it if the galvanized pipes are adaquate.

I also have a concern with using pressure treated wood - will it 'poison' the grapes? (I am told newer pressure treated wood is safe)

A secondary concern is in disturbing the roots of the plants if I were to pull the old fence posts and replace with the 4x4 posts (6x6 if needed).

My goal is to create an outdoor room as the vines begin to cover the connected wires.

Any thought?

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I grow grapes (muscadines) here in south Florida on factory made steel trellis that are powder coated against the weather. Down here wood (even PT) and galvanized steel aren't an option due to rust and rot... so much water here :-)

Up in New York my Dad used powder coated steel fence posts made for wire fences but used stainless wire strung between the posts. I don't think in the 20+ odd years I was visiting there he had a rust or support problem.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 7:32PM
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