How I built a trellis for grape vines

IMO, grapes are a great choice for home gardeners and especially for preppers. In the warm areas of the country, such as where I live in North Mississippi, the grape of choice is the muscadine. Below is how I built my trellis a few years ago.  First I set my treated posts, where I use 6×6 posts on the ends and 4×4 posts down the line.  To attach and tension the 12.5 gauge high tensile wire, I use the Gripple product, which in this case includes the wirevise, the wire joiners, ground anchors and the tensioning tool. With this product, you feed the wire into a slot & the wire can only keep going forward. It can’t be pulled back out, like Chinese finger traps. Makes tensioning the wire exceptionally easy… especially with their tool. You can purchase the product from Amazon but I get my orchard supplies from Orchard Valley Supply. https://www.orchardvalleysupply.com/…ons/trellising

I drilled a hole thru the 6×6 end posts, slid in a wirevise on the outside of the post & fed the 12.5 gauge high tensile wire thru the wirevise, then tensioned from one end & then attached stainless guides on top of the 4×4 line posts.  I’m holding a wirevise so you can see how it looks.





Even though all posts are set 2 1/2 – 3 feet deep with concrete, you want to brace the end posts to keep them from leaning under the tension of the wire… especially when the wire is loaded with fruit and vines. On this end, I’m using Gripple earth anchors. They are driven, in this case, 3 feet into the ground, until the loop just barely sticks out. You then pull the drive rod out, slide it thru the loop and then pull up. This causes the anchor to pivot underground and then lock in place. When done the loop is now about 6 inches above ground.


Ready to pound the anchor deep underground.




This is where you pull up the rod, slide it thru the wire loop & pull upward until the end rotates & locks in place.


I then use the end post kit, which includes the Gripple wire joiner & the galvanized wire with a loop on one side, to tension the end post to the ground anchor.



One trellis now fully tensioned and braced.



Three trellises wired, tensioned & braced by myself in about 1 1/2 hours. You can’t get any easier & anytime it needs to be tightened, you simply attach the tool to the end of the wire.


Two years later, here is a variety called Supreme.


And here is Magnolia.



  • Comments (24)

    • 7

      Thank you for all the pictures! I am very visual and like seeing what i’m reading about. 

      Which of those two types of grapes do you prefer?

      You did a very great job putting up all those trellises. It sure would be a satisfying feeling to step back and look at them all when you were done. 

      • 4

        You are welcome.  Pics do help one understand better.  They are all good.  I grow several varieties and my favorite is Ison.  It is incredibly sweet with that strong muscadine flavor.  FYI, the bronze varieties are called scuppernong.  

      • 6

        I’ll have to look into and try some of those kinds. Bet they taste much better than the two options of green/black grapes at my grocery store.

      • 8

        I get my plants from Ison’s nursery.  They are incredibly easy to grow, if you are in a warmish area.  They also have great instructional videos on planting & caring for them.  They also sell the jellies, jams, etc.

        The Tradition of Ison’s

    • 6

      What are some of the things you do with your grapes?

      Growing up, my family grew a small bush of grapes and let them climb some lattice. They tasted incredible, but just enjoyed them as they were ripe that month. We tried turning the excess into grape jam, but my dad was the only one who enjoyed that, it turned out pretty runny. 

      Very impressive setup you have there. Those are some tools that i’ve never seen before, and I have worked in two different tools stores.

      I see you just have the single wire across the top. How do the grapes grow from the ground below and make their way to the top wire? Do you have some kind of rope or netting that they climb up? 

      • 8

        I love to eat them straight off the vines.  You have to spit out the seeds but oh so good.  My wife is our jelly maker.  She just put up a couple of dozen pints of strawberry and blackberry jam.  She makes a great muscadine jelly.  I had a friend that passed away recently that made several different types of muscadine wine.

        You can either let the vine grow up a bamboo stake or you can drop a string down from the above wire.  I use bamboo as I have it growing on my property and actually most vines will come already attached to some bamboo when purchased.  When it gets to the wire you cut the vine and it will then put out two shoots.  You train one to go one direction and train the other to go opposite.  Here is a pic of my pruned vine from this spring and maybe you can see how it is growing.

        IMG_0260 smaller

      • 8

        That clears everything up! Thank you for your response. That is awesome that you have bamboo growing on your property, as there are SO many uses for bamboo.

        I live in the rocky mountains (zone 5a), do you think bamboo would grow here? Do I just go to a nursery and ask for a pre existing bamboo plant?

        I’d love to see a future forum post about your bamboo, as it is such an incredible survival plant.

      • 5

        I have wild bamboo along my back fence line but it only gets around10′ tall, which is just the right size for a fishing pole.  A few years ago I ordered some that can get 60′ tall and maybe 5″ in diameter.  I got them from Lewis Bamboo & they do have cold hardy varieties.  They won’t get as large as warm weather varieties.


        The first year, mine got about 3-4 feet tall.  Next year I had some get around 6-7 feet tall.  This past year the tallest was around 15 feet tall.  Interesting thing about bamboo is that it puts out new shoots in the spring, and those will grow for around 60 days.  After that, the plant never gets any larger.  It can live for around 10 years but it never grows larger.  The older & larger the underground root, the larger the bamboo will be.  So these huge bamboo you see grew that tall & that wide in just a couple of months.  They grow amazingly fast, especially shoots from very mature roots.

        I had to fence in this bamboo because the neighbors cows would eat them from the back & my horses would eat them from the front.  They love the shoots in the spring but will strip all the leaves off mature plants.  I fenced off a long area to give them room to spread.  The young shoots in spring are edible, which is another reason for preppers to plant them.

      • 5

        That is so cool that they grow so fast. On other websites that I have seen, some bamboo can grow out of control and really spread. Do you have that problem? or can you manage it by controlling those new shoots in the spring?

      • 10

        Well you wouldn’t want to plant it in a bed next to your house or driveway.  It could do damage.  They sell a product that you bury around your bamboo to keep it from spreading.  In my situation, it is on a fence line in my paddock.  Any shoots that come up outside, or actually near the fence are quickly eaten by cows and horses.  You can also control the growth just by cutting them with a mower, as you cut your grass in the spring.  So if you had a screen of them inside your yard, you could simply control the spread by using your mower and not go through any real trouble.

        I like the idea of having bamboo during a crisis.  You can do so much with it.  That is why I’m trying this big bamboo.  This next spring I’m expecting the new shoots to get around 20′ tall and maybe around 2″ in diameter.  That is then getting to the size where you can actually do something with it.

        Here is a pic from this spring.  You can see the prior years bamboo fully dressed in leaves.  You can see the new shoots coming up all around.  The first year’s shoots barely made it to the top of the fence.  The second year’s shoots are about double that.  These new shoots that came up this year got a good bit taller.  Now at this point when I took the pic, this year’s shoots are still growing but you can see how new shoots get bigger each year as the underground root gets larger.  My understanding is, but I’m not 100% sure, is that the shoot diameter will be similar to the root diameter.  This winter I’m gonna prune out those shorter, older bamboo to allow those oldest roots to put out more big shoots next spring.

        bamboo1 2020

      • 7

        Giving them plenty of room, yet having the fence line and horses keep it from going out of control is a smart idea. 

        I hope those 2″ poles grow well! That’s where the real fun begins.

      • 7

        The fencing I added in front is there to protect the bamboo.  Without it, the horses would eat every bit of that patch.

        Remember, a 2″ pole now will never grow any bigger.  However, the root that birthed that shoot will be a year older & bigger next spring.  Meaning shoots from it will be even taller and even wider.

        That is the beauty of bamboo.  Even 50′ tall bamboo got that size in a few months.  So if you have a big stand of large mature bamboo, you can harvest say half one year and next year, it will replace itself… in just one season.

      • 5

        Took this pic this am.  Shows fencing better.


      • 4

        I’m in the south East so bamboo grows prolificly here.  I’ve really been tempted to plant some but have been scared of it taking over the place.  After reading of your success with it I may look into it more.  Was thinking of a natural fencing and privacy screening.  No doubt there are thousands of uses for the stuff.

      • 5

        Yes, we can get some really nice growth in the southeast.  Can’t begin to say how many people I’ve talked with that are scared to grow bamboo.  They think it is an invasive weed and impossible to control.  But it only puts up new shoots in the spring and if you cut them while cutting grass, they won’t keep coming back all year.  So yes, location is important.  Those underground rhizomes can spread a long way so keep away from drives & houses.  But otherwise, I find them incredibly easy to grow and as preppers, they have countless uses.

      • 5

        Nothing better in this world than homemade strawberry jam on homemade bread right out of the oven!

      • 5

        I can’t say I have a favorite.  My wife’s blackberry is probably high up there but her blueberry is to die for too.  She also does a half & half with blueberry & blackberry and most seem to love it the best.  But then again apple butter is special too.

        Too many choices!  🙂

      • 5

        Any wine plans?

      • 6

        No, not really.  With my 150 or so apple trees, when I retire I plan on making cider… if not to drink then at least to make apple cider vinegar.  I have a cider press, which we made at work, and associated gear for fermentation.  It is sitting in my upper barn waiting on retirement.



    • 4

      That’s a great set up!  Thanks for sharing.  I have about 75 muscadine vines growing on the front of my property and have been making wine for several years now.  My wires are always sagging and we’re never really tight from day one.  They hold up the vines and do the job but your setup looks very professional.  I have at least 100 gallons of wine stashed around the house and in a root cellar.  Even though I can’t drink anywhere near what I produce it makes great gifts and potential barter items if things ever get tough.

      • 3

        F35B5E1F-22C9-4F37-BD39-E720A42F852AI’ve actually tried making jelly and jam with a few grapes but have had a lot more success with the wines.  I turned my electrical closet into my winery, lol.

      • 5

        My friend used to make it in his bathroom.  Yuck!   🙂

      • 2

        Often wires will sag due to the weight of the grapes pulling the end posts inward.  If that is the case for you, you might want to get some of those earth anchors for your end posts.  They will straighten the posts and tighten the wire.

    • 7

      Great photos!

      We love our grapes and eat the leaves as well as the fruit.