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Hi everyone, my partner and I are thinking of building a pergola in the backyard and instead of the normal design that uses a roof of wood or laser light we were thinking of having grape vines.

the idea being that in summer we have shade and grapes and in winter we have light.

has anyone done this and can you provide tips on how to grow the vines?

By roger h
9/28/2010 5:45:25 PM

All I know is that grapes need a lot of sunshine so I guess a pergola is a good place for them so long as the pergola isn't shaded by your house for most of the day.

By Mr Kiwi
9/28/2010 6:02:45 PM

The other fruit to try is Kiwi fruit.  We have grown that and it is a quick grower so you don't need to wait years before you get good coverage.  Also, we all know that Kiwis are good for you ;-)

By Fiona
9/28/2010 6:27:12 PM

You also need to consider the variety of grape you're going to plant.  For example, if you choose a vigorous variety then they will require more space inbetween the vines.  If you plan on having many uprights on the pergola then this may influence your choice of grape vine.

Grapes need a lot of water during Spring and Summer and if there is not a lot of rain then they need to be watered at least once a week.  This should be continued until the berries change color after which time watering will no longer be required.

Once the leaves fall off you need to prune the vines back else the vines tangle.  More importantly the vines will, if not pruned, tend to overbear which means the berries won't ripen properly.  So prune back up to about 90% of the previous years growth.

By susan g
9/28/2010 11:16:12 PM

That's excellet.  Thank you to everyone.

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