Growing Grapes in Your Backyard
Training vines to a trellis increases the amount of leaf area with full sun exposure, which leads to increased yields and better fruit quality. Grapevine trellises can be of many configurations. The trellis consists of wires that stretch down the length of the row, supported by metal stakes or wooden posts, with or without cross-arms. Grape growing regions often have vineyard supply stores that may sell to the public. Strong end posts must be in place to prevent the weight of the fruit from pulling the wires down and bending the stakes inward. Securely fasten wires to stakes and end posts, and bear in mind that the heavy fruit weight will stretch wires so they will need tightening over time. Vineyard supply stores have fittings to connect wires to stakes and end posts, and tools to tighten wires.
Wine grapes may be trellised at a 40-inch (100-cm) height, which is convenient for harvesting and pruning. A slightly greater height (5 ft [1.5 m]) is common in table grape production, but arbors or patio structures 7 feet (2.1 m) high or more may be used. Consider using horizontal cross arms that support canes and foliage for table grapes to spread the fruit and leaf area for better sunlight exposure and air circulation.