Since I last posted, I gave instructions on how to create a small grape arbor. Since then, I decided to completely change the arbor. The top of the arbor was four-foot by eight-foot. I expanded it to 8-foot by 12-foot instead so I could put in four different varieties of grapes so they would ripen all at different times.
For the new arbor, it requires four 12-foot 1×4 treated pieces of wood and 14 8-foot 2×2 treated pieces of wood. The 2×2’s were spread 10-inches apart from one another amongst the 12-foot area available. From both sides of the 12-foot boards, the first 2×2 on each side was put six-inches in – again to have a little bit of a decorative effect.
I re-used some of the old 2×2 pieces of wood and put horizontal pieces across the two sides of the arbor – that way I can also grow a grape cane from each vine on the pieces.
You may also see in the picture below that there are horizontal pieces all the way around the perimeter at the top. This is to hold the bird netting up above the arbor area so that when the vines reach the top, they will not tangle in with the bird netting. I just actually completed all the bird netting today. I purchased a 7-foot by 100-foot piece of bird netting at the local Menards store for $14.95. I saw others online for more than twice that for not even half of the size. I just hope it lasts a while because I put over 10 hours in with putting the bird netting in. Along the sides, I also had to “weave” some string through the places where the seams of the bird netting are. Otherwise, with the wind, it would create a gap and the birds could fly right in. You can see the small white pieces on the picture below too.
Lastly, I worked a few weeks ago at excavating the grass below the arbor and putting in pavers to complete the nice landscape look. I really hope the grapes pay off in the long run because there are several weekends of work in this between putting the arbor up, putting in the patio pavers, and putting up the bird netting.
Along with the grape vines, we also purchased a Granny Smith apple tree from an online orchard as well. I put the grapes and the Granny Smith apple tree in last weekend. All together, we now have a Concord Seedless grape vine, Flame Bunch Seedless grape vine, Niagara grape vine, and a Crimson Seedless grape vine in addition to the Granny Smith apple tree. These were all purchased online through Willis Orchards
The only other thing left that we may do is try some of these columnar apple trees. These columnar apple trees are kind of neat because they can grow 10 – 12 feet tall and you can really increase the space where these are put. Unfortunately, there is not enough space in the front yard now to put another semi-dwarf apple tree, but we are thinking about buying a North Pole columnar apple tree and a Golden Sentinal columnar apple tree to put on either side of the grape arbor. The columnar apple trees have been said to begin producing apples after two or three years and once they are fully mature, they will give about two dozen apples each.