Intro: Grapevine Terrace
As anyone who lives in southern California knows, the summers can get incredibly hot. There is nothing better than a bit of shade for large gatherings with friends or just lounging in the back yard with a glass of wine. To that end, about ten years ago we decided to build and plant our own grapevine terrace over our back patio. It was surprisingly easy, though it took a number of years to get good coverage.
- 4 by 4s for the uprights and supports
- 2 by 6s for the edge of the main structure
- 2 by 4s for the crossbeams
- bolts to keep it all together
- grapevine cuttings
Building a terrace is fairly self-explanatory and varies based on your specific needs (space, etc.), so this Instructable focuses more on the care and upkeep of your grapevine terrace. You can see from the photos that ours has a pretty straightforward design. We planted one grapevine on two opposite corners, and since then proper care has allowed the vines to flourish and completely cover our patio. As a means to guide and help the grapevines grow, you can place nails in the structure at intervals for the plant to grasp.
Aside from making sure your grapevines get water, there are really only two main steps in tending your vines.
(1) The first begins in the spring, when the grape seedlings start to appear. You will want to prune all of them away until midsummer, allowing the vines to focus on growth. Afterwards you will still have a full crop that will mature into delicious grapes--probably even more than you can handle. Enjoy!
(2) After the season is over, it is important to trim away all green growths that you do not want to be part of the main trunk. This will leave you with a skeleton that looks pretty much dead, but will return with a vengeance the following spring.
We will update this Instructable with photos of our fall pruning when it comes around, but for now these photos just document removing the seedlings.
We hope some of you try it out because we absolutely love ours!