Trellis Questions

It’s not uncommon for people ask me what I believe the best type of trellising method happens to be.  Specifically, people like to know the best way to securely anchor the ends of the trellis.

The best answer I can give in a nutshell: it depends.

I have made a trellis that has the familiar H posts at both ends, and I have made a trellis with single end post held by a guy wire to an anchor.  Both methods have advantages and disadvantages, and in the end it’ll be up to you (the viticulturist) to choose the best method for your vineyard.

The ‘guy wire’ is called a ‘trip wire’ by some as it can be easily caught by equipment and broken or stretched.  But, this potential inconvenience is almost made up for by the fact that you only need one end post and one anchor.  I find that an anchor is easier to screw in the ground then digging a hole or driving a post in the ground.  An anchor also costs less than an end post.  With a guy wire end, there is no horizontal brace to install making installation faster and cheaper.

With an H frame end post system, there are four components.  The two posts, the brace and the brace wire.  There are also two holes to dig, compared to one for the anchor system.  One of the biggest problems I find with the H post system is that raccoons will sit on the brace between the end posts   and use it as a seat to eat grapes and tear up the netting.  Of course, one of the major advantages of this method is that it is incredibly strong and durable (assuming the installation was done properly).

With a guy wire anchored system, there is a bit of wasted space between the end post and the anchor.  If you’re creative, however, this should not be a problem.  I use this space to plant rose bushes or rhubarb.

I have put in both types of systems for my trellis ends but the one I prefer in my vineyard is the anchor system.  It expedites the process of vineyard expansion, and keeps costs low.  But perhaps this method isn’t for you.  If you have a plentiful supply of posts and no raccoons to speak of, then maybe the H system may be best for you.