April 27th through May 3rd, 2015
Building Grapevine Arbors
This week we focused on installing the new grapevine arbors. Our grapevines are happily growing and I have had to give them a trim or two to keep them from breaking from their own unsupported weight. Therefore the arbors themselves have become a pretty important priority.
The raised beds of our garden are built of cinder blocks, which have been capped and mortared for a clean look. The previous arbors were installed into the dirt of beds, but this led to rot in the wood and did not provide a stable base. After a couple of years, the arbors were pretty wobbly and needed to be replaced. We have devised a new arbor design which will utilize the surface of the cinder blocks instead, providing a much stronger and more stable base, and it will clear out extra space inside the bed.
1. First we installed four 4′ x 4′ posts using a cement bracket. The cement bracket was screwed into the cinder block toppers and then attached to the wooden post.
2. Then we secured the posts by creating two box bases out of mitered 2′ x 6′ beams that surround the posts on each side of the arbor. These box bases where also bracketed into the cinder block base in three locations, so that each side of the arbor was attached to the cinder block beds in five places. We are very hopeful that this will keep the arbors secure in high winds.
3. We then installed a single large box also of 2′ x 6″ around the top of the four posts and ran two additional beams on the interior of the posts to mirror the boxes at the bottom of the posts.
4. Finally, we installed slats over the entire arbor, 1″ x 2″ pieces spaced approximately 4 inches apart.
I am very pleased with the final look of the arbors, and it seems that the grapevines are going to be very happy with them too. (I didn’t take any photos of the process as we built these guys, so the photos included here are from June of 2015, with the grapevine now fully grown into their new home.)