FPS combines my passion for hunting and wildlife conservation with the overall need for self sufficiency.
Step 1: I will be installing a three row grape trellis in the orchard. The rows are marked off and will be 32 feet in length with an additional 5 feet on each end for a H-brace style endpost.
Step 2: Here comes the play toys :)
Step 3: The ground has alot of clay. Clay is not real good for grapes, I will be amending the soil before planting.
Step 4: The ground was dry but I was still able to get about 24" deep holes.
Step 5: This pic shows all three rows of holes and am now starting to line up the posts.
Step 6: I will be adding gravel and water around the posts to help lock them into the ground.
Step 7: Free rain water via the cabin roof.
Step 8: Add the gravel and water to the mix and tamp it good with one of natures spud bars.
Step 9: Once each end post is in the ground run a string so all the other posts are installed in a perfectly straight line.
Step 10: Straight line... looking good.
Step 11: Leveling up the cross member for the H-brace. The crossmember was installed 40" off the ground.
Step 12: Closeup view of crossmember attachment.
Step 13: 9 gauge soft steel wire is used to tighten the H-brace, wrap it around the brace twice.
The purpose for this is to keep the posts from leaning when the trellis wire is tightened. Without bracing, the posts will continue to lean until pulled out of the ground by the tension.
Step 14: The wire is now ready to be twisted and secured. Remember the high wire end goes towards what will be tensioned. The low wire end helps keep it anchored into the ground because the pulling force is at ground level.
Step 15: The H-brace all tightened up and very solid.
Step 16: The long eye-bolts are my wire tensioners for the trellis wire.
Step 17: It was easier to drill holes for the grape vines prior to installing the wires.
Step 18: Close up view of trellis wire. I used 14 guage high tensile strength electric fence wire for the trellis. High tensile strength wire will not stretch like soft wire will. Also notice how I used screws instead of staples for the H-brace wire.
Step 19: This trellis is a two wire system. The top wire is 45" off the ground and the bottom wire is 24" off the ground.
Step 20: The first row is done.... Only thing left to do is cut the post tops off level.
Step 21: Another view of the first grape trellis.
Step 22: Starting on the second row....
Step 23: And finally the third row...
Step 24: I loved how the sun was breaking over the trees first thing in the morning.
This orchard will provide my family with sustenance for the next 50 years..... my contribution will live long after I'm dead and gone.