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How To Choose A Trellis for Hot Weather Grapes


Grapes are one of the best and nicest additions to any garden. Just driving by a vineyard and seeing the row upon row of growing grape vines has made me always want to start growing them in my own garden. Now that I’m in Hawaii, though, a little more thought has to go into the process. Questions like what are the best kind of grape to grow in tropical climate, as well as which is best trellis to use in hot weather climates for the grapevine to grow on.

What Kind of Grape Should You Plant in Hot, Tropical Climates

In most cases, the most success for a home tropical garden then you’re going best off planting the Muscadine or American variety of grapes. They have shown to do very well in warmer, sunnier climates like southern California. There are other varieties, of course, like European but they do best when grown in Europe and northern areas of the U.S.

Each type of grapevine will have multiple subspecies to choose from. Each subspecies will have a different flavor, size, texture and color.

The best plants to select for your new grape garden are the ones that are one year old and that appear to be the healthiest and strongest of the bunch. Remember, picking the runt might be a tug on the heart but always go for good stock over sentimentality.

Choosing a Trellis for Your Grapes

Trellises are structures of interwoven thin building material. They stand upright and allow the long, growing grapevines to wrap themselves around and grow. Grapes are viney and need this kind of support to properly grow. Keep in mind that a single stake in the ground like you might use to grow tomato plants just won’t do for your grapes. It just wouldn’t provide enough support.

You can make your own trellis or purchase one. Whichever way you go will be up to you and your preferences. While building a trellis may be a nice weekend activity, it may also be a challenge to those gardeners that are not experienced with tools and building. However, if you are the handy type then building your own may be a little cheaper than buying a pre-made trellis. At times even expanding, wooden fences will be adequate.

Growing Grapes Tips from a Pro

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Whichever method of getting a trellis you prefer, keep in mind that the hot, tropical weather will determine what kind of trellis your grapes thrive on. For instance, metal and plastic trellises tend to retain heat a lot more than wooden. This can be detrimental to your grapes and grapevines as they grow and literally cook your plants in place, leading to premature death of an otherwise healthy grapevine.

Also, don’t worry about painting your wooden trellis. There may not be anything more attractive and authentic than a naked, wood material trellis with a treasure trove of grapevines growing in your tropical garden.

Build Your Own Wooden Trellis

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© 2014 Ken Muise


Beverly on December 22, 2016:

Hi thanks for your post. I live in Puerto Rico and I also want to grow grapes. I recently bought a dormant muscadine..It's tiny and naked since it's dormant. I hope it comes to life soon. Can you post something on actually growing grapes for these tropical and subtropical climates. Everything I could find focuses on southern US and it's not really comparable. I also had a really hard time finding anyone that would ship my way.


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