This is what I was seeing in my mind when I realized our grape trellis had rotted out:
(Double click next to the word Vimeo to get it full screen- it is so much prettier!)
My poor grape vines have been suffering in the last few years because the trellis is slumping. The post finally rotted away this spring and so we had to come up with a new plan. We debated putting in new posts- rent a post hole digger, buy post hole cement, new posts, and sturdy wire. That really adds up in cost and time to do all those things. So, my husband and I came up with a different plan. We are using 2- 16 foot ranch panels purchased at D & B Supply.
First, you have to figure out how to get 2- 16 foot panels to your house. If you own a "farmer's cadillac" like us, its easy. The employees just bend them into the bed of the truck! You look like you are driving a tunnel through town. I wish I had taken a photo!
We first placed the ranch panels on the ground and wired them together (with fencing wire) to have about a 3 foot overlap. We put 4 - 6 foot t-posts in the ground - 2 on each end where we wanted the arbor to stand. Then carefully walked the panels to the t-posts and arched them at the posts. Then we wired the panels to the posts. The panels want to spring up and out, it can be a dangerous adventure if you lose your grip on the panels!
Now, I have tied the dormant grape vine as best I can- to the arbor and once it leafs out I will keep training the vine to grow over the arbor. The plan is that the grapes will grow draping down into the arch and they will be easy to harvest. And easy to net to keep the birds out. Can't wait to see how it looks in the summer!
Vimeo video of the building of the grape arbor.
A view of the grape tunnel in August that same year: